I wrote this last year, but thought I’d repost it given it’s the anniversary of Hiroshima being destroyed. This will be the first year the US have sent a representative to the commemorations.
I don’t really have anything insightful to add to the subject, but today is the 64th anniversary of the bombing of HIroshima. The mayor of the city, Tadatoshi Akiba, used the occasion to support President Obama in calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, which I guess isn’t all that surprising. Given the shadow that the concept of nuclear war cast across the 20th century, it’s important to note that ‘only’ two cities have been the victim of nuclear weapons, two attacks that have, I guess, traumatised humanity (in a good way) to consider nuclear war as the ultimate expression of madness. I think that’s a good thing.
I guess there’s a comparison with Harry Patch, the UK’s oldest surviving WW1 veteren who passed away recently. Having described war as "authorised murder", in 2004, three weeks before Remembrance Sunday, he met with Charles Kuentz, the only German survivor of the First World War, and shook his hand. In the shadow of the Great War, modern civilisation’s shorthand for the futility of senseless conflict, the seeds of reconciliation can flower. Maybe, even if only in small, often un-noticed ways, in the aftermath of war we can learn, even if only for a fleeting moment, to be peaceful.