Thursday, May 12, 2016

The New Yorker

What the Pope Saw at Hiroshima
By Robin Wright  May 12, 2016

A charred tricycle, its rubber pedals melted away, is one of the most evocative relics of war in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum. It belonged to three-year-old Shinichi Tetsutani, who was riding it when an American B-29 dropped a nine thousand-pound over the city, on August 6, 1945. Shinichi’s father found his son, barely alive, still grasping the handlebars under the rubble. He died a few hours later. Because Shinichi had loved that tricycle, his father decided to bury it with him—so that his son would not be lonely—in the back yard, where his son would still be close. Before the attack, the Americans had given the bomb a nickname—Little Boy. Four decades later, Shinichi’s father had his son’s remains exhumed for formal reburial in a cemetery. He donated the unearthed tricycle to the museum.

On May 27th, President Obama is scheduled to become the first sitting President to visit Hiroshima’s war memorial.  The fanfare around Obama’s visit has revived the tormented debate about the Second World War’s concluding acts—the merits and morality of America’s decision to drop the first nuclear bombs, in order to force Japan to surrender and avoid a ground war on the Japanese mainland. Everyone agrees that the bombings wreaked an enormous toll on humankind. The bigger, and more pressing, question is whether Obama’s trip will change anyone’s thinking about future use of the bomb. Read on...

No comments:

Post a Comment