On this day in 1945 the United States demonstrated that it was as morally bankrupt as the Nazi machine it had recently vanquished and the Soviet regime with which it was allied. Over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki, it exploded an atomic device that was the most efficient weapon of genocide in human history. The blast killed tens of thousands of men, women and children. It was an act of mass annihilation that was strategically and militarily indefensible. The Japanese had been on the verge of surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military significance. It was a war crime for which no one was ever tried. The explosions, which marked the culmination of three centuries of physics, signaled the ascendancy of the technician and scientist as our most potent agents of death.
My Jiichan (granddad) was drafted out of the Japanese American internment camps to be a translator for the (segregated) U.S. Army’s occupation of Hiroshima, just week’s after the bomb was dropped. To this day, I believe he became and remained a gardener for 50 years afterwards, because he wished to cultivate life and beauty after the horrors he saw in the land of his family/ancestors. My other Scottish-American grandfather, was a pacifist and Protestant Minister who entered the Naval service as a Chaplain, after learning about what was happening to Jews in and around Nazi Germany during WWII. He was almost court-martialed during this time (1945) for serving communion to lower-ranking Black soldiers before the higher-ranking white officers. He was also in Hiroshima shortly after the bombs were dropped. Neither of them would ever be the same after what they saw there. Today I mourn them and remember.
You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.