August 6, 1945
Sixty-two years ago, the United States dropped an atomic bomb, "Little Boy," on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 innocent civilians. Three days later, on August 9, "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000 people. This ended World War II.
HBO aired a haunting, horrific documentary today, called White Light/Black Rain, about the repercussions of America's actions, interviews with survivors of the devastation, along with film footage and photographs. Pictures and film of children with their skin burned off, limbs missing, eyeballs melted out of their skulls.
It's absolutely nauseating to think of the pain caused, the lives lost and destroyed. 210,000 men, women and children became so much ash so quickly. It's disgusting. Was it necessary? Could the war have been ended differently? Who knows?
There's a man whose skin melted to his bones. You can see his ribs through his skin. You can literally see his heart beating. His back is nothing but scar tissue.
One woman's face was a charred, black husk after the bomb fell. Her father sliced around her head and peeled her face off.
My God, they invited survivors onto This Is Your Life 10 years later, in 1955. One of the pilots of the Enola Gay came face to face with some of the people whose families he helped eradicate. What must that have been like? How surreal ... what do you say to someone after dropping an atomic bomb on their city? And on what's essentially a reality show, in front of a live studio audience, no less.
Makes me wonder why we haven't seen any 9/11 reality shows yet.
What, too jaded? Too cynical?
August 6 and 9, 1945. 210,000 people, 210,000 lives, futures, vaporized in less than an instant. And the threat of a nuclear attack hangs over all our heads like a Sword of Damocles, a razor-sharp pendulum, inching ever downward with every tick of the clock.