Sunday, August 06, 2017

Year 72: The Mushroom Cloud's Silver Lining

(Image from Atomic Heritage Foundation)
Horrible though it was, Hiroshima probably saved more lives than it took. As I wrote two years ago,
There's a good chance that I owe my existence to the bomb. My father, who celebrated his 90th birthday in June, would have been part of the invasion of Japan. (Dad served in the post-War occupation.)
Hiroshima and Nagasaki demonstrated the bomb's awesome destructive power to such an extent that nuclear weapons have never again been used in wartime. The fear seems to be receding, however, and our vacation from history may be ending.
“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.” ― J. Robert Oppenheimer

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