1. I want to remember Mr. Tanimoto and Father Kleinsorge because both of these men defined the term selfless during this harrowing time. Mr. Tanimoto rushed around in the wreckage of the city finding and saving his injured countrymen. He worked tirelessly for other people and became a leader for the survivors. Likewise, during the aftermath of the bomb as the people of Hiroshima tried to rebuild, Father Kleinsorge was an irreplaceable support for so many people. I admire most the way these men gave of themselves to their community. The pure selflessness that they had amazed me—it is a trait that I hope to one day be able to have as well.
2. As Mr. Tanimoto was rounding up survivors in his boat, he came across some badly injured people on a sandpit and, of course, he tried to save them—“He reached down and took a woman by the hands, but her skin slipped off in huge, glovelike pieces” (45). When I read this line, I was physically shocked. My heart skipped, my breath caught, my eyes widened. It just hit me, out of nowhere. Tanimoto had this woman in his hands, was dragging her to safety, and she came apart and slipped away. It was so vividly grotesque and, what’s more, it was real. Just crazy.
3. I chose these passages because I believe that they represent lessons that the world can benefit from.
a. “She had firsthand knowledge of the cruelty of the atomic bomb, but she felt that more notice should be given to the causes than to the instruments of total war” (122). I believe in this message. The survivors of the atomic bomb went through unimaginable pain, and deserve the utmost respect and memory, but to not address the underlying cause of their suffering would be an insult to them. By knowing and understanding the historical causes of total war, maybe we can protect the future.
b. “The whole day, Father Kleinsorge was oppressed by the thought that all the damage he saw had been done in one instant by one bomb” (67). This quote is so potent. That is truly what made the atomic bomb so horrible, the fact that just one decision, just one bomb, just one instant, changed everything for this city and its people and the world in general. It makes me think about how tenuous life is.
c. “The hurt ones were quiet; no one wept, much less screamed in pain; no one complained; none of the many who died did so noisily; not even the children cried; very few people even spoke” (36). Like the noiseless flash of the bomb, the suffering of the people was silent. I believe that this emphasizes these people’s strength as well as their pain. This quote offers a very real picture of their pain to the world.
4. For the world to avoid war there needs to be thorough communication between the people of different nations. It is okay that there be different goals, motives, and desires amongst different countries, but there also has to be respect for these differences, and understanding. There must be open discussion about these differences; no longer should important topics be discussed behind closed doors, out of sight of citizens. So many decisions are made by a select few that affects so many. The people of the world have the right to participate in the world’s decisions. But, for this to be achievable the people of the world must keep open minds and open hearts. As individuals, we cannot perpetuate hateful outlooks if there is to be peace. As individuals, we cannot condemn others for being different if there is to be peace. It is okay to not agree with someone, but that does not mean it is okay to hate them for their opinions. I believe that openness and acceptance is the key to world peace.