August 6

70th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

Reflection

More people on the earth were born after that tragic moment in 1945 than were alive at the time of the atomic blast. Yet those who died still cry out to heaven and earth, even to those who do not remember the headlines or the news from that day.

Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil.

These words are inscribed on a stone block at the site of the blast. May they be remembered by those responsible to negotiate nuclear control.

Prayer

God, the keeper of the atoms and stars:
You made us collaborators in creation,
but we have pilfered the secrets of ordered existence
and justified their immoral use in the name of “security” and “peace.”
We could say then that we didn’t know the consequences.
Now we do know, but we are complacent and silent.
Lord, have mercy.

We have abused the glue of the universe.
We have made and stockpiled weapons of mass destruction
instead of saying “No” to their use for evil.
Fear and presumption have driven us
to be ready to annihilate untold lives and
make areas of the earth uninhabitable.
Christ, have mercy.

Open our eyes to see how small and fragile the planet is and
how the destruction of any human being diminishes all.
Heal the wounds opened with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Mend the fabric of the human family.
Will in us never to repeat this evil.
Lord, have mercy.

Action

I will search my own heart with regard to war and the violence of war. I will act as a responsible citizen in holding elected officials responsible to seek agreements among nations.

Suggested Reading

Why do the nations plan evil together?
Why do they make useless plans?
Psalm 2:1-12

What kind of people should you be? You should lead holy and godly lives.
Peter3:11

You can be sure that I will comfort Zion’s people.
I will look with loving concern on all of their destroyed buildings.
I will make their deserts like Eden.
I will make their dry and empty land like my very own garden.
Joy and gladness will be there.
People will sing and give thanks to me.
“Listen to me, my people.
Pay attention, my nation.
My law will go out to the nations.
I make everything right.
Isaiah 51:3-4

Every positive value has its price in negative terms… the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.
Pablo Picasso

Of thousands of others, nearer the center of the explosion, there was no trace. They vanished. The theory in Hiroshima is that the atomic heat was so great that they burned instantly to ashes – except that there were no ashes.
Wilfred Burchett

The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.
William Leahy, I Was There

As the bomb fell over Hiroshima and exploded, we saw an entire city disappear. I wrote in my log the words: “My God, what have we done?”
Capt. Robert Lewis

*Nuclear bombs were dropped three days apart, August 6 and 9, 1945. The real mortality of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan will never be known. The destruction and overwhelming chaos made orderly counting impossible. It is not unlikely that the estimates of killed and wounded in Hiroshima (150,000) and Nagasaki (75,000) are overly conservative. Nor has anyone accurately counted the suffering, not just to people but to all species as well as to soil, air, and water.
.

Tags: