Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H3'ed 8/6/11

A Survivor of the Hiroshima Bombing

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments, 3 series

We must enforce the NPT and strengthen it.

"Nationalism and religion are the curse of our times when they divide us. We are all citizens of this planet."

Next to speak was a student from Nagasaki, Yuri, who spoke of the idea three years ago to collect ten thousand signatures from high school students in opposition to nuclear warfare. By last year, he and his colleagues had collected over ninety thousand signatures. He will address Kofi Annan in Switzerland as a peace messenger bearing these signatures (we were allowed to sign their petitions this evening), and as a third-generation descendant of a Nagasaki survivor. Not that he heard painful reminiscences within his own family--a cousin died of leukemia--but from other survivors.

Yuri became a peace activist in high school. He said that nuclear weaponry continues to multiply; today there are seventy-three thousand in the world, with Russia holding the most, followed by the United States.

"These weapons must never be used," he concluded. "We pledge to work for a peaceful world."

+++++

We floated candles onto the waters of the stilled fountain. Meant to fill the space, they remained on the periphery. I looked around at the Japanese and Americans chatting easily and wondered what my place was at that moment. I am on the steering committee after all and had supped with Mr. Sato, his translator, Bob Moore, and another board member. We had sushi and rice crackers. I had asked the interpreter what she thought of our version of Japanese food and she had said, "It's ok" dismissively.

And now? Wouldn't the right thing be to thank Mr. Sato for his amazing words? He had spoken to so many of us individually. I went up to him, began my formulaic greeting, and he took my hand and looked deeply into me. I thanked him for his very memorable words. I said I would tell everyone I knew what he said. Then I remembered how to say thank-you in Chinese. Wrong language. Then I remembered how to say it in Japanese. "Arigato," I smiled. He repeated the word. He really meant it. Suddenly I knew what to do next. I bowed the way I had seen the Japanese people bowing to each other this evening.

I limped away (I have a broken toe) into the darkness. I realized how much I had experienced with that handshake--the epicenter of Hiroshima sixty-one years ago. It was overwhelming. What he gave, a man who had lost everything.

-

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Marta Steele Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for Opednews.com since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Heads Up! Bernie to Be Interviewed on MSNBC 9 pm Tonight with "Exciting" News

Review: Andrew Kreig, "Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters"

Ohio Heroes On Path To Deposing Rove

Smart Security or Dumb Dollar$?

There Is Life on Mars, Not Just Water

Third Annual Women's March Converges on DC; Blocked from Capitol Building

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: