Thursday, August 9, 2012

67th Anniversary of Bombing of Nagasaki

This week marks the 67th anniversary of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and then another on Nagasaki three days later, August 9, 1945. With just two bombs, more than 200,000 people -- mostly civilians -- were instantly incinerated or died from radiation poisoning by the end of 1945. Many more have died since and are still dying from the effects of radiation. The effect on future generations are still unknown.

Memorial in Nagasaki for those who died
Although Nagasaki has been completely rebuilt, powerful reminders of the atomic devastation can be found everywhere. The personal testimonies of the survivors, the Hibakusha, make the tragedy very real. Let us heed their plea:
"Never again!"


Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who live by the sword will die by the sword. (Matthew 26:50-53)

Jesus’ Last Words to the Church
By Father John Dear, SJ

We have spent the last 1700 years, denying Jesus’ final command. We have justified warfare, led our crusades, and stamped every bombing raid and nuclear weapon with our blessing.

But the commandment remains: “Put down the sword.” I think one day the church will realize that the just war theory has no place in the Gospel. They’ll realize it was by no means exemplified by the life of Jesus. And the theory will fall into disrepute. One day the church will teach only Gospel nonviolence. And Christians everywhere will quit the military and refuse to join. They’ll obstruct warfare and beat all swords into plowshares.
The unarmed Christ wants his community, the church, to be a community of creative, loving nonviolence, I submit. It’s God’s holy gift to the world. The challenge then is to take him at his word.


A friend shared the following message with me via e-mail - thought I would share it with everyone so that we can continue to learn.
"Yesterday I was with someone who had been in Japan for several weeks, and she mentioned that everywhere, there is braille, because so many were blinded by the bombings. All along the brass stair rails down into the subway, for example. There are varying feels to the walkways, so that the blind know where to walk. I had never realized that there were so many blind people!
Imagine a world filled with peace and love.

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