8/06/2010

August 6th 1945 and 2010

We were at war then. And on this day in 1945 we dropped a bomb on Hiroshima. Not all died immediately, but within three months something like 125,000 people had died as a result of that one bomb.  

As a child I remember my father getting a book from the Government Printing Office cataloging the effects of the blast on people in Hiroshima. The images from that book have been with me now for sixty years.

It was dropped on the Feast of the Transfiguration.

We are at war now. And on this day we don't know who of our forces might have been killed. And of course we don't know about contractors, Americans not part of the military forces but there as part of the US and Coalition forces work. What we do know is that the number of US and other military forces killed is rising.

There are many images of this war but few notices of the deaths and injuries, little report of the continuing costs of the war.  It is there, but like background noise. Other things are more important, more pressing. But the deaths continue. Life is transfigured into death.

And yes, it is the feast of the Transfiguration.

It is time for a Transfiguration worthy of the name, and no more War.

Afghanistan Coalition Military Fatalities By Year

YearUSUKOtherTotal
2001120012
20024931769
2003480957
2004521760
200599131131
2006983954191
20071174273232
20081555189295
200931710896521
20102698264415
Total12163274401983  

7 comments:

  1. I was 37 days old on August 6, 1945. I was born in and living in Wendover, Utah, from where the airships that carried those bombs had been prepared for their mission. My father was part of the crew responsible for the fitting of those airships. I am always stunned that this action was taken on the feast of the Transfiguration. I'm equally stunned that in preparing to remember the feast today, and every year, I always completely forget this connection. It's important to remember it, Mark. Thank you.

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  2. A truly horrible weapon and I suspect that no one knew the full consequences that morning when Mr. Openheimer's deadly toy was uploaded into the Enola Gay's bombay.
    I don't anticipate beating swords into ploughshares until the Almighty returns. Though its the sincere hope of many (including this retired NCO), we must accept the truth that as long as there are those benighted souls who wish the undoing of others, there will be war.
    We can, as a Republic, work to mitigate the cost and consequence of war by first counting the cost of any potential conflict and asking the hard questions first. Any potential conflict that fails St. Augustine's Just War muster should be avoided at all costs.

    Doing this as a Republic will be truly "Transfigurational"

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  3. Thanks for this, Mark. I had two friends who were among the first Americans to enter Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) after the bombs were dropped. They each said it was impossible to comprehend what they saw and it was utterly impossible to describe it.

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  4. Thank you, Mark for this remembrance.

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  5. I was not yet born, but my parents spoke of it often - with horror.

    It is important to remember.

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  6. I was not born then. But I have an Uncle who was on Okinawa. His unit would have been part of the third wave landing on mainland Japan.

    Kevin K.

    ReplyDelete
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