The First Casualty of War is Innocence

The first casualty of war is innocence. 

A tag line which has always stuck in my mind from the 1986 Oliver Stone film Platoon… I’ve been wanting to write about Hiroshima for a while and keep going through the words I want to share in my mind though this is the first time I’m putting them down to share.

I want to write *without* being political, objective or having to quote from other sources. So first I need to acknowledge, as the quote indicates, in war there are no (so called) innocent parties. That I am aware of the atrocities in Japanese war camps, the carnage caused by kamikaze pilots and other such nasties which take place during war. I am not going to defend these actions, neither can I condone the actions of the Americans on Monday, August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m.

Let me start with a childhood memory, walking with my parents down New Walk in Leicester must have been in the late 70’s Early 80’s… Along the whole length of the route had been painted white outlines of bodies, such as those that indicate corpse positions in a crime scene. These white painted figures I later discovered were in protest against Nuclear War by the CND a very real threat in that day an age, during the Cold War where we get to watch nuclear disaster themed films in school classes. Resulting in nightmares for weeks and the inability to watch the Judgement Day scene from T2 (to this day).

This trip down memory lane was triggered by visiting Hiroshima. Standing outside the station following our journey upon the Bullet Train, our tour guide (An American) stood speechless near a domed shaped fountain, unable to find any words beyond a mumbled apology which was suffocated by free flowing tears. The realisation of where we were standing and what had happened here was very real, the emotions raw, the apology  unnecessary. Despite the busy fussy streets around us, there was this moment of incredible silence among our tour group… Yet it was just a moment and our adventure continued, though with a distinct emotional overcoat.

Today Hiroshima reminded me somewhat of Nottingham, with tight bustling roads crossed with a tram system, folks hurrying along their way, a very live towering city of structures, businesses, people, dogs… You know, city kinda city shit… But…

70 Years ago…

SAM_6495

End of Part 1…

 

Anne Harrison 26.04.16

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