A-bomb exhibit at Nevada Testing Museum proves eye-opener
Tue Aug 8, 2006 03:46

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006
A-bomb exhibit at Nevada Testing Museum proves eye-opener

Hibakusha Kazuo Maruta, 74, talks to visitors to an atomic bomb exhibition Saturday at the Atomic Testing Museum in Nevada. KYODO PHOTO

LAS VEGAS (Kyodo) An atomic bomb exhibition organized by the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims opened Saturday at the Atomic Testing Museum in Nevada, with about 200 visitors attending the opening ceremony.

About 40 pictures and 20 personal items telling the story of the aftermath of the August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are on exhibit.

"It was intriguing to see what happened to the city and people with just one atomic bomb," said 16-year-old Arialle Bools, a high school student in Las Vegas. "I've never seen pictures like this, and I've learned a lot about things the school never teaches."

At the opening ceremony for the exhibition, which runs through Aug. 27, a survivor of the bombing of Nagasaki shared his personal story and called for the abolition of nuclear weapons worldwide.

Kazuo Maruta, a 74-year-old hibakusha and member of the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, was 13 when the atomic bomb was dropped, three days after the first bomb destroyed Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

He had just finished a school English exam and was relaxing at home about 1.3 km from the hypocenter. He heard the roar of a B-29 bomber, with which he had become familiar, and the next thing he remembered was a powerful bluish-white light flashing in front of his face.

"What it looked like was something like hundreds or even thousands of camera flash bulbs going off right in front of my face, and I instinctively got down on the ground, but at the same moment my body was thrown up into the air by the force of the blast," Maruta told the audience.

"It felt as if I was going through a pitch-black tunnel where there was a tremendous sandstorm. To this day, what I remember most about that moment was that I distinctly felt it was the moment of my death," he said.

But it was not Maruta's last moment, and he later saw numerous people scorched from head to foot flocking to the river to quench their thirst and many dead bodies piled up like charcoal on the river banks when he fled the devastated city.

One hundred of his 300 schoolmates died in the blast, and Maruta said his heart still aches when he thinks about them.

He said he believes it is the obligation of atomic bomb survivors to work for world peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

"Currently there are about 30,000 nuclear warheads in the world and it seems to us that the threat of another nuclear bombing is actually growing," he said.

"May Nagasaki be the last place on this Earth to experience an atom bomb," he said, and the audience responded with a standing ovation.

Kelly Miles from Las Vegas, who had mixed feelings about nuclear arms, said her perception had changed after listening to Maruta's speech.

"The importance of getting rid of nuclear weapons has become a more personal issue for me," she said. "We need to keep telling this message to the public."

However, Ted Tedesco, a 60-year-old veteran from Las Vegas, felt the contents of the exhibition and the information in Maruta's speech were one-sided. He said there was no discussion of why the war started or why the U.S. had to develop nuclear arms.

"They started the war, not us," Tedesco said. "If we had attacked Japan without dropping atomic bombs, there would have been more victims from both countries, probably millions of them."

Maruta said he appreciates the differences in reaction and opinion among the visitors, but believes the message from the people of Nagasaki is well understood by the Americans who visited the museum. He said he thinks it is "a successful first step" in promoting the need to abolish nuclear arms.
The Japan Times
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A-bomb survivors leery of battleship hype

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, have mixed feelings about the recent interest in the battleship Yamato, another symbol of World War II, which was built in a dockyard in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture.

The number of visitors to the Yamato Museum in Kure exceeded 2 million in July, reflecting the box-office success of the war movie "Yamato," which earned 5 billion yen in theaters.

But for Yasuo Yasugi, a 78-year-old former crew member of the giant battleship, the museum is not the place where his strongest wartime memory rests.

Yasugi was walking along a riverbank in Hiroshima the day after the bomb explosion when someone suddenly grabbed his right leg.

"Give me water, please," a boy said in a faint voice.

Yamato had 3,332 crew members on board when it sank in April 1945. Only 276 survived. Yasugi is one of five people, out of less than 30 crew members alive today, who suffered a double tragedy in being exposed to radiation in Hiroshima.

He was involved in a training mission on the outskirts of Kure when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and was ordered to join reconstruction efforts at Hiroshima Station the next day.

There were numerous casualties in the city, but Yasugi and other men were ordered not to engage in rescue efforts. They were told to give priority to building the station, which was a strategic point for the military supply line.

Yasugi, who now lives in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, regrets following the order and not helping the boy. He has never returned to that riverbank.

He also kept the story to himself for 60 years until his memoir, "Battleship Yamato, a Will of the Last Crew," was published last year.

"I want the younger generations to think deeply about what human life means," he said, explaining what motivated him to write the book.

Sunao Tsuboi, another survivor of the atomic bomb attack and chairman of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organization, paid a visit to the Yamato Museum in April.

The 81-year-old Tsuboi saw the real Yamato being built in a naval dockyard in Kure before the war while on his way to school.

He was struck by a sense of nostalgia in seeing a one-tenth-scale model of Yamato in the museum.

"I used to be a pro-military boy who believed Japan would never lose as long as we had the Yamato," he said.

But Tsuboi was not satisfied with the exhibition at the museum because it showed only one piece related to the atomic bomb--a picture of a mushroom cloud taken in Kure.

"The reality behind the atomic bomb explosion can get obscured by all the craze about Yamato," he said.

Tsuboi felt the bomb explosion 61 years ago, just over a kilometer away from ground zero. He still has a scar on his forehead from the burn he suffered from the ensuing heat wave.

Today, the 61st anniversary of the horrific event, will be just another day for Tsuboi to continue his life's work of telling children what people experienced in Hiroshima on that day.
(Aug. 6, 2006)


8/7/06 "The Charles Goyette Show"
One good example of how this War got started.....
Interview: Steve Benson... AZ Republic
Remember the day we Droped the A Bomb on Japan...!!!!

Remember the day we Droped the A Bomb on Japan...!!!!

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