This was a 15-min. freewrite on the topic Hiroshima on the 66th anniversary of the dropping of the A-Bomb on that city.
Gosh, where to begin? I wrote my Senior Thesis on the necessity of dropping both bombs. At my young age I felt as if I understood why it occurred and how it helped. It’s interesting using the word “help” when they did such terrible things to so many. My views have changed as I’ ve aged. I could still argue both sides if I wished but now I lean far more towards wishing such things never occurred. I know why it occurred and all the steps that led to intelligent people saying, “Yes, this is a good idea” but when I take a step back and look at it all it’s hard to justify hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Becoming a parent changes views. Everyone that died had a mother and a father. Some had siblings or children of their own. When viewed in that light it’s quite hard to ever justify such actions but when I was 21 I did just that. The title was something like The Necessity of Dropping the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I had page after page of facts and quotes.
I put it in perspective. Something like 54 million people died in World War II but less than ½ million died because of those two bombs. I spoke of how many more lives were saved and how after so many years of war it was easier to make that choice.
Just end it. No more. And it’s all true. It did probably save lives.
Tens of millions more died from the billions of bullets and bombs used in the years prior not to mention all the deaths from hunger and exposure. Why single out these two bombs from the billions of other causes of death?
It feels dirty too. How do you justify death? I guess by making it so prevalent and common as to remove the terribleness of it all. I was able to do it in my younger days. It’s probably why the military enlists such young men and women. They view the world as black and white, right and wrong rather than grey. Most things in life are a shade of grey.
I didn’t really question my views back then. I had spent four years studying at a large university renown for its History program. I had already questioned my views, hadn’t I? Here is my conclusion; no need to question that.
Age is a beautiful aid to life. I very much question my views now though I’m sure there are some that I still turn a blind-eye too. I know though that I’ve been wrong in the past and will be wrong again in the future. That’s not a bad thing. Not questioning and correcting it is the great flaw.
How do I convince others to question their views? That is a goal worth pursuing. I don’t need to change their views. I need them to change their own.
I got an A on my Senior Thesis. I don’t know if the Professor agreed with me or not but he felt I had fulfilled the assignment well. I don’t recall a single person in that small class disagreeing with me. I do remember a couple that did agree. I wonder if they still do?
August 6, 2011 Niko Kerhulas