Tuesday, August 08, 2006

AlterNet: The Hiroshima Stories We Can't Tell

That we were the first and only country to use a nuclear weapon is bad enough.

That this adinistration would think of using another, is evil in the extreme.

AlterNet: The Hiroshima Stories We Can't Tell:

For all of us in a sense, the Earth was knocked off its axis on August 6, 1945. In that one moment, my father's war ended and my war -- the Cold War -- began. But in my terms, it seems so much messier than that. For we, and that boy, continued to live in the same world together for a long time, accepting and embroidering each other's silences.

The bomb still runs like a fissure, but also like an attracting current -- a secret unity -- through our lives. The rent it tore in history was deep and the generational divide, given the experiences of those growing up on either side of it, profound. But any story would also have to hold the ways, even deeper and harder to fathom, in which we lived through it all together in pain, hatred, love, and most of all silence.

In this sixty-first year after Hiroshima, a year charged with no special anniversary meaning at all, perhaps we will think a little about the stories we can't tell, and about the subterranean stream of emotional horror that unites us, that won't go away whether, as in 1995, we try to exhibit the Enola Gay as a glorious icon or bury it deep in the Earth with a stake through its metallic heart. For my particular story, the one I've never quite been able to tell, there is a Japanese boy who should not have been, but briefly was, with us; who perhaps lives today with his own memories of very different silences. When I think of him now, when I realize that he, my father, and I still can't inhabit the same story except in silence, a strange kind of emotion rushes up in me, which is hard to explain.

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