Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Never Forget: No WMDs Found





Tour of Japanese city was very sobering

In a recent editorial, The Olympian vehemently condemned the Olympia City Council for having enacted an ordinance making Olympia a nuclear-free zone. Perhaps the editorial staff would agree that two specific cities could properly enact such an ordinance: Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

In 1967, I was in the military taking R and R in Nagasaki. One of the chaplains organized a bus tour of the city. The Japanese were very friendly and hospitable. There was even a kind of bus equivalent of a flight attendant, a young lady who sang to us in Japanese. We toured various sites and then, about 11 a.m., we got to the Nagasaki Atom Bomb Museum. It was full of young Japanese, both school children and young adults.

There were display cases showing realistic models of tumors growing on the bodies of Nagasaki residents who survived the atomic bomb blast. Another display case was full of clocks and wristwatches, all blackened by the blast and all stopped at the same moment in time.

Also nearby were the remains of the first Christian church in Japan, in ruins. The Japanese had not repaired it. Close by was a water tank standing on steel legs which had turned red hot in the bomb blast, softening them so that the tank sagged down to the ground.

The Japanese had not repaired that either.

The next stop after the Atom Bomb Museum was a restaurant. For some reason, most of us Americans did not have much of an appetite.

Very inscrutable, these Japanese.

William Kirby, Tumwater

The above Letter To The Editor from The Olympian

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