Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr.
(cnbnews.net)August 7, 2011-The blast center Hiroshima City. At 25 meters in midair southeast of Shima Hospital at 19 Saikumachi,Cho.The death toll after the explosion, 140,000 people perished.The death toll by the atomic blast at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki has not been confirmed yet.The report to the United Nations Secretary General in 1976 said that the death toll was 140,000 in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki.
Letter by Mr.Atarashi Oshima,a Church member on our church in Kuroseki, Kitakyushu City.
At that time I was working in Tabata,Kitakyushu city.I was a skinny kid,but was drafted into the Army Engineering Brigade and sent to Hiroshima,in August 1945.It was a few days just before the bombing.We resided in temporary housing at an elementry school in Gion-machi, Asa-gun.
I had only been there for three days,at about 3 a.m.in the morning we were awaken by an air-raid alarm that was sounded. We got up and we went to a river bank near our diningroom. We sayed at the river bank until dawn a waiting breakfast that had been delayed for about an hour.When we started to pick up our chopsticks,a light flashed outside,I heard huge loud explosions and saw a building collapsing near by as I looked out of the window.
The blast blew in all of the windows pieces of glass were flying every where, I was lucky because I was not close to the windows in the dining hall and was l laying face down on the floor.
As I looked up I saw that the ceiling was still there I was okey,as I looked outside,I saw what looked like a yellowish gray telephone pole swelling up,it got larger and larger,it broke into a huge mushroom shaped cloud.It looked to be about 4 kilometers or so away from us.
The roof tiles on our dining hall building started to blow away as if a typhoon was passing by and the wind from the bomb blast was very intense. About 11 a.m. we all decided to go back to the river banks where we first were.While on the way to the river we saw many people laying on the groung in severe pain and some were dead, and some were up in the trees and on the roof of the Hachiman Shrine where they had been blown from the blast.
When we arrived at the river we realized the seriousness of the situation, there was so much damage and devastation and loss of life everywhere.The sun was shinning and the heat was terrible not only from the sun but from the blast also.
There was a long lines of people that looked like ghost with pail faces and their eyes were hollow and they kept asking for water and help.We noticed they were burnt very badely and their clothes were in shreads on them and some were bare foot,some of them fell down and died in front of us. We were at a loss for what to do for these poor people we couldn't help them at all.
On about August 11 or 12 we were taken to a temperory medical depot across the Ota river from where we had been. We did our best to help the people but they were so badley wonded and we didn't have any medical supplies. A lot of them perished it was the worst experience of my life. My colleagues and I suffered from diarrhea with blood,we had nausea also and a few had burns.
But the scenes we saw and experienced were terrible but we were able to react like human beings and help them all we could and give them comfort.We lost our power to think normally and our psyical strength was gone and drained out of us, but thank God we were at least thankful to be alive.
I have several letters from a few people who were ar Hiroshima during the bombing but I chose this one by Mr.Atarashi Oshima, his letter was longer than most but very descriptive in content. I had to shorten it bringing out the highlights of the story he wanted told.
I have been to both Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial Parks on several occaasions and have gone through the Atomic Boming Museums. It was an emotional time for me to see just what both devastation and the trauma did to those people through the atomic bombing of their cities, it was horrifying and a very sad experience.
Warm Regards from Kitakyushu City, Japan
Have a really great summer.
Hank F. Miller Jr.
Note: Hank is a former resident of Gloucester City who resides in Kitakyushu City, Japan. category WHEN EAST MEETS WEST
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