The mighty sun peeked from behind the rugged mountains of the town Saka, Hiroshima, and sluggishly emerged higher. The sun rays generously hit the ocean, causing its surface to gleam as the balmy summer breeze carefully carried the dulcet chirping of the birds and the fragrance of the dainty flowers throughout the city. The small town of Saka remained a serene residence for its inhabitants.
Bun Hashizume, an avid fourteen-year-old, lived a contented life with her parents and siblings in the town. Taking leisurely strolls along with the flower gardens, ascending the majestic oak tree and admiring the beautiful ocean, and indulging in endless conversations with her best pal Hitoshi were pretty much the details of her routine. She aspired to become a poet as Hitoshi desired to become an author.
The dawn of 6th august, 1945 bloomed like any other. Bun Hashizume set out to work at the Ministry of communications in Hiroshima. It was around 8:15 AM and Hashizume was standing near a window on the third floor. She was bewildered when a sudden powerful light beam splitting into vibrant rays momentarily blinded her sight. That was the moment when the American US B-29 warplane dropped the lethal bomb bearing the moniker ‘Little- boy’ over Hiroshima.
The bomb exploded with a drastic thud as it hit Hiroshima. It annihilated the buildings, shattered the glasses, demolished the edifices, and eliminated 70,000 lives instantaneously, and victimized another 10,000 lives as the rapid-fire commenced. Moreover, the intense radiation ejected by the nuclear bomb was starting to affect the civilians. The hospitals were crammed with injured patients and the relief efforts rendered by the government were below the par.
Finally, acquiring consciousness after her concussion, Hashizume attempted to fight back the aching agony in her limbs as she willed herself to stand up. After a finite number of sloppy foot-steps, she stumbled her way out of the building as blood droplets resumed to ooze out from the wound in her head. She was fortunate to find an elderly woman who offered to walk Hashizume to the nearby hospital.
The walk to the hospital was horrid. Hashizume perceived that her entire town was demolished and the path was covered with innumerable injured people screaming in agony, wrecked people mourning over the corpses of their relatives and desperate people jostling their way to any nearby shelter to protect themselves.
The next morning, dubious and concerned if her family survived the bombing, Hashizume decided to get back home. Placing cautious steps amidst the relatively less fervent fire, Hashizume made it to her place and was delighted to reconcile with her mother but had lost her brother and Hitoshi to the catastrophe.
After years of being tormented by trauma and dwelling in the dark chambers of depression, Hashizume stepped forward to share her experience, and talking about it helped her to heal. She eventually became a poet who penned down her authentic thoughts and fed her readers with motivation and optimism.
Even at the end of this disaster, she admits that hasn’t developed resentment towards the human race. More than being appalled by the fact that human beings dropped a bomb on other human beings, she was genuinely astounded by how wonderful human beings can be after such turmoil.
Meanwhile, Sachiko Matsuo’s family residing in Nagasaki was dreading the inevitable. Matsuo was a hopeful 5th grader. After the horrendous event at Hiroshima, the US B-29 bombers raided the city of Nagasaki and threw flyers all over, proclaiming that Nagasaki was about to be reduced to ashes on August 8, 1945. Tentative though, this announcement created commotion and chaos. Schools and workplaces were shut down and the citizens were insinuated to evacuate the town.
Matsuo’s family gathered the essential equipment and embarked to the hills behind their residence where they established a tiny makeshift shelter to survive the night of Aug 8. Anxiety and apprehension filled the hushed atmosphere and Matsuo’s siblings protectively snuggled towards one another as they lived the longest night of their existence, anticipating the disaster to slam anytime. On the contrary, nothing happened that night.
The next morning faintly relieved and positively hoping that the flyer news was fake and that the storm had passed, Matsuo’s mother suggested moving back to their residence since the town remained intact but her father protested otherwise and insisted that they stay. So, Matsuo spent the morning unpacking their luggage while the elders prepared their meal and her innocent younger siblings played outside.
Hours later, Matsuo witnessed an extremely intense yellowish-white beam that was bright enough to instantly disrupt her vision and before she could retaliate from it their shelter succumbed to the fiery flames of the bomb and blew up. That was when the second US airplane dropped the fatal bomb code-named ‘Fat-man’ on Nagasaki. The resilient fire butchered Matsuo’s elder sister while her father died on exposure to the perilous radiation from the bomb while Matsuo, her mother, and her brother were fortunate enough to survive the calamity with some serious burns.
The paramedics and the rescue team couldn’t make it in time and the severely injured lay in despair awaiting death to take them as screams of anguish and yelp echoed everywhere. The alive assembled at the air-raid shelter with much difficulty. Matsuo’s mother retrieved their savings from the nearby bank, garnered food, and aided the critically wounded before their relatives came to their rescue and escorted them away from the radiation.
Even though the obnoxious memories from the aftermath of the bomb blast keep lingering in Matsuo’s mind, over the years she has learned to talk about it and realized the necessity of passing the story on. At that time, due to the hideous discrimination that came along, she couldn’t openly admit that she was a survivor. Today, she proudly speaks up that she is a survivor but the thing that detains her from being happy about it is how the radiation might affect her grandchildren.
However, the bomb attack did put an immediate stop to the prolonging second world war, and estimated life loss during the war panned out to be relatively less due to this. Yet, are the inhumane intentions and acrimonious actions of the US military officials which drove them to drop an atomic bomb on fellow humankind to manifest authority justifiable?