ARCHIVES AUGUST 2016 by Barbara Turk
On the heels of the Tulelake Internment Camp 2016 Pilgrimage, which many of us and our “UU friends in peace” attended, I share thoughts from August 1945, and beyond.
The justification of bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be argued until dooms day, either man-made, or when the Universe just tires completely of humankind’s stupidity.
You’ve all read about the 1000 cranes girl, Sadako Sasaki. There’s a Peace Park in the center of Hiroshima, not far from where the bomb was dropped (Sadako was 2), and the Children’s Peace Memorial honors her, and reminds all:
“This is our cry, This is our prayer, Peace in the world”
After her death at 12, her school friends formed a paper crane club to honor her, and eventually students from 3,100 schools and nine foreign countries gave money for the monument. Sadako’s figure on the monument holds a golden crane.
Still today, world-wide, children fold and send paper cranes to be placed at Sadako’s statue at the Children’s Peace Memorial, “In remembrance of all child-victims of nuclear and conventional war”.
An older brother of Sadako and family members have donated some of her cranes to places of importance around the world, including the 911 Memorial in NewYork City, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Interestingly, there is also Sadako statue in the Seattle Peace Park.
Our fellowship has its own Peace Pole, a memorial for Oliver Pike-Urlacher, infant son of Connie and Robert. I believe Rob is caretaker of it since the building fire in 2011. “Peace on Earth” adorns it in eight languages. Maybe one day we’ll have a new home and can re-dedicate it.
Within less than 24 hours after “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima August 6,1945, President Truman announced: “Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima. It is an atomic bomb.”
When HST made that announcement I was seven, and have no recollection of my own reaction; nor that of my parents—which today I’m thinking was total bewilderment, but great relief the fighting was done.
My parents’ silence was similar to that of the older Japanese in the ten camps across our nation. For some it took two generations of complete silence before their grandchildren learned of their camp experiences.
A member of the 2016 Pilgrimage Committee noted they continue this project so no one will ever forget, and let such injustice again take place.
What have we learned? Well, MLK said:
“The time is always right to do what is right.”