From Hiroshima to
by David Krieger*, August 2, 2002
“I will write peace on your wings, and you
will fly all over the world.”
-- Sadako Sasaki
August 6th. Hiroshima Day. A time for reflection,
for listening to the sounds of birds and water, the rustling leaves,
for remembering who we are.
We remember Hiroshima not for the past, but for
the future. We remember Hiroshima so that its past will not become
our future. Hiroshima is best remembered with the plaintive sounds
of the bamboo flute, the Shakuhachi. It conjures up the devastation,
the destruction, the encompassing emptiness of that day. The Shakuhachi
reveals the tear in the fabric of humanity that was ripped opened
by the bomb. Through that tear we could all be sucked as into
a black hole in the universe of decency.
Nuclear weapons are not weapons at all. They are
a symbol of an imploding human spirit. They are a fire that consumes
the crisp air of decency. They are a crossroads where science
joined hands with evil and apathy. They are a triumph of academic
certainty wrapped in the arrogance and convoluted lies of deterrence.
They are Einstein’s regret. They are many things, but not
weapons -- not instruments of war, but of genocide and perhaps
Those who gather to retell and listen to the story
of Hiroshima and of Sadako are a community, a community committed
to a human future. We may not know one another, but we are a community.
And we are part of a greater community gathered throughout the
world to commemorate this day, seeking to turn Hiroshima to Hope.
If we succeed, the child Sadako of a thousand cranes,
who would have been an older woman now, will be remembered by
new generations. She will be remembered long after the names and
spirits of those who made and used and celebrated the bomb will
have faded into the haunting sounds of the Shakuhachi.
*David Krieger is President
of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.