The saddest of anniversaries

Today, 63 years ago, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the Japanese port city.

Within days the Empire of Japan did the unthinkable by surrendering.

I'm not going to argue that the atom bombs saved lives, or could have been demonstrated, etc., etc.  Deal with what was: it was a horror. The late Fr. Pedro Arrupe, who became Superior General of the Jesuits, and who truly was "on the ground" (God forgive me), ran the Jesuit novitiate in Hiroshima, and was present on August 6, 1945 when the first bomb exploded. Reviving his early training in medicine, Fr. Arrupe turned the novitiate into a hospital that both saved lives and succored the dying. His writings are a witness to terror on the grand scale.

While we wax orgasmic over the visual pornography of the Beijing Olympics and the muggings and murders of tourists outside the arena in a country that has poured the lifeblood of its citizens into a show for the rest of the world, Nagasaki today is worth a momentary reflection.

Necessary or not, war-ending or not, it is one of the saddest moments in my lifetime, and it's worth a pause for remembrance.


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