The 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While I wasn’t alive for this event, it had an impact that remains with me today. It was one of the reasons I was involved in the peace movement in my twenties, and a reason why I wrote my book, Buying Time.
My Introduction to the Peace Movement
It was the 1980’s, the Cold War era when the US and Russia were in a race to see who could get the most nuclear weapons and the Doomsday Clock was at 3 minutes to midnight. While Star Wars was at movie theaters, President Reagan spoke of a real Star War, putting missiles in space. Both sides already had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over.
I remember dreaming that I was talking to one of my nephews, then five or six years old, about some family event that was coming up.
“I don’t know, Aunt Pat. If they drop the bomb, I won’t be able to come.”
I woke up as a mushroom cloud went off in my head. We were living under the shadow of the mushroom cloud.
Thus I was propelled into the peace movement: a non-violent movement, dedicated to ending violence. Nuclear weapons were the ultimate in violence. I joined with people of faith and, after prayerful discernment, I stepped out in faith because I believed, to the best of my ability, that this was what God wanted me to do. In 1991 when the Cold War ended, the Doomsday Clock was moved back to seventeen minutes to midnight. I felt that I had had a small part in making that happen.
My book, Buying Time, is about those cold war years. I first wrote it in 1985, revised it in 2016 and have since revised it again, cleaning up some point of view issues, using what I’ve learned over the past four years of writing. Some of the characters may seem far-fetched, over the top caricatures, but I assure you they are not. The characters and actions are all based on people I knew back then and actions taking by members of the peace movement. It is different from my other books. Some of the characters were acting as modern-day prophets, and as such, could appear strident and unbending in their attitudes.
The book is about a Plowshares Action – where people would symbolically hammer swords into plowshares, or in this case, they took hammers to a B52 bomber. There is a threat to creation in the form of nuclear weapons and these individuals took action against this threat. Imagery from the Book of Revelations is used. What is more apocalyptic than the threat of mass destruction by nuclear weapons?
Book Discount in Memory of 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
It has been 75 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending World War II. I recognize that many say that had we not dropped these bombs, as many, if not more lives would have been lost in a prolonged war effort. I’m not trying to make judgment on these past actions, but rather to remind us, never again. There would be no survivors of a nuclear war.
What are your memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I would love to hear them.
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