By DOUG REILLY
Today, Aug. 9, is the 76th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki; last Friday, Aug. 6, was the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
The headquarters of the IAEA is in the Vienna International Center. Just inside Gate 1 there’s a large Japanese peace bell that’s rung on these dates.
One such day there was a delegation of people from both cities headed by the mayor of Nagasaki. They had also brought some items from the blasts, like a watch stopped at exactly the time Little Boy exploded over Hiroshima. In one case there was a scrap of paper with a moving story that went something like this:
“The evening after the morning bombing of Hiroshima, there were several hundred survivors huddled in an underground subway station that served as a bomb shelter. Many were injured and sick. Suddenly a women cried, ‘the baby is coming!’ Another lady said, ‘I’m a nurse-midwife, I can help!’ A little while later, the nurse said, ‘the baby is healthy!’ Briefly there were expressions of joy where there’d only been sorrow. As the first light of dawn came, the nurse died from her injuries… Even as one life departed, a new life entered the earth…”
At their meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, President Reagan and Chairman Gorbachev said, “a nuclear war can not be won, and must never be fought.”