Today is the anniversary of Hiroshima……August 6, 1945.
Hiroshima is more than a mark on history for me, it may have been the reason I write these words today. My father’s Navy ship was ordered to turn around, a couple of days short of their destination point. Their destination, well a bomber called the Enola Gay changed that course.
The suffering that ensued was immeasurable. The suffering saved immeasurable as well…….I fear my dad would have been one……and me, well, I wouldn’t be.
My dad hated to travel. My mom wanted to see the world. My father never spoke of the war; I wanted to ask him so many questions, but it was a subject I knew best kept closed. After my dad died, I sorted through his possessions and found the ship’s log book he kept from WWII. My dad had been to so many places, exotic places, the places now only the rich and wealthy choose as vacation venues or Robinson Crusoe readers dream about. To him, they were places of war, travel meant suffering, not pleasure to him.
He never spoke of any of them except one…….once he spoke of Hawaii…….I hated it, he said. Hated Hawaii…..hard to imagine……….
But maybe Hawaii didn’t mean leis and luaus, it meant stopping at Pearl Harbor to him.
Now, I understand.
I read stories of Hiroshima as a young girl…….the suffering of those not evaporated upon impact was immeasurable…….the skin falling off, teeth falling out, diseases…….hard to imagine. My life never existing……..sometimes I imagine the what ifs if a ship didn’t turn around on an early August day.
Peace, (Dad is circled in his Navy photo) I wonder if all of them made it home too.
Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday…..he would have been 96 years old. That Navy ship’s orders to turn around was the best present we both could have received……..he got to live to see more birthdays, and I got to be born into this life………