Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Atomic Bomb Dome

Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima, May 1996, by Michael

Atomic Bomb Dome
twisted beams, cries of anguish
searing heat, silence


LBseahag said...

That's beautiful...you need a travel show...

Phats said...

So Michael who ya rooting for in the NCAA tournament?

Michael said...

Thanks, LB!
Hi Phats. I went to Temple U. in Philly. Once they got bumped off, I lost interest in the tournament.

g said...

1945. A different time entirely. Some people earnestly believed that destroying upwards of 150,000 Japanese civilians, would end the war more quickly and save American lives. The horror. The horror. What can we say now? Could we ever understand what it was like to be in a world war against the Axis powers?

I spent four years in the Strategic Air Command, during the Cold War years, praying that nuclear deterence really would work.

Mike Cross said...

A symbol, but not, for me, of Japan's victimhood.
A symbol of war without mercy, on both sides.
Of cause and effect.
What were the causes?
I don't know.

Michael said...

Hi g,
The most jarring thing about visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome is that directly across the street is the baseball stadium for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp professional team. During the season, standing in front of the dome while the cheers of the fans across the street waft through the air is really off-putting. I imagined the cheers were screams.

Hi Mike,
As much as I love Japan, I refuse to second-guess the decisions made on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945. I wasn't there, and I didn't have to face the desperation and ferocity of the war in the Pacific. The museum in Peace Park, near the Atomic Bomb Dome, paints Japan as a victim of Western aggression. I don't buy that, though I'm sure that there were elements of U.S. diplomacy that easily could've conveyed that impression to the Japanese. Still, I refuse to second-guess the decisions to drop those two bombs. All I can say is that I hope such a terrible, tragic measure is never taken again.

anu said...

I love the way your haikus are turning out to be Michael.

Some have such an eerie feeling like this one and the others are so much fun to read...it makes one smile with a twinkle in the eye.

Lovely M:)

Michael said...

Thank you, Anu, and I love your poetry, too!

Phats said...

Aww you were an Owl. They have a legend as a coach who has retired this season. their ladies are in the Big dance though still :)

Michael said...

Hi Phats,

Yup, when I was in grad school they were No. 1 in the country and lost to Duke in the finals, if I recall. Mark Macon was their star.
I knew a couple of the basketball players, including one of the kindest and gentlest souls it was my pleasure to meet.
His name was Robert LeBird (or maybe LeByrd?), a near-7-footer, as I remember, who had just joined the team and was expected to lead them to glory.
He was a clever, soft-spoken, smart kid who always had time to stop for a chat with me, either on campus or on the street. Just a real class act, he was.
His roommate found him dead in their room one day, the victim of Marfan syndrome, a disease that often strikes people of exceptional height.
Temple may have lost a good ballplayer, but all his friends and acquaintances lost a shining light.

Bo said...

I've been to the dome and the museum. But I've also been to the Philippines and talked to WW2 survivors who will tell you stories of seeing those who stood in front of trenches only to be shot in the legs by the Japanese who then poured gasoline over them and burned them alive. Nanking in the Ukraine is a story that should be read by any who doubt who the aggressor of WW2 was. Guess I'm just too old to get confused..........

Michael said...

Hello Bo,

That's exactly why I won't second-guess the events of Aug. 6 and 9, 1945. I wasn't there. I wasn't witness to the events that led up to it.
But I'm right here, right now. And I hope it never happens again.