Sometimes Pittsburgh is amazing. I've
been away so much I hadn't realized that since August 6 there have
been a series of events commemorating the
A-bombing of Hiroshima, 63 years ago. Friday night there were presentations
by one of the survivors (hibakusha), Sachiko Masuoka and the daughter of a survivor, Yuki Miyamoto.The presentations were both incredible and terrible. Ms. Masuoka, a tiny 81-year old, stood straight and unflinchingly recited her story, the terrible things she witnessed. Only once did tears come to her eyes when she spoke about her little brother who died. She lost both a younger sister and the brother. She told about something that was either not mentioned at the Hiroshima memorial, or I overlooked when I was there: flies
would lay eggs in the wounds of the burn victims and the maggots
would eat into their flesh. She knew of one girl who survived because her mother removed each of the maggots with a tweezers. That affected me almost as much as the
terrible photographs and objects I saw at the museum. By the end of the presentation I was just as shattered as I had been in Hiroshima.
The topic is more relevant than ever, since our own president and several other world leaders are able to contemplate using nuclear weapons. Too bad these people don't want to understand the tragedy they would create. The theme of the presentation was "Remembering Hiroshima, Imaging Peace." These days peace seems to be unimaginable.