On August 6, 2012, against a backdrop of the Times Square Recruiting Center’s neon American flag, approximately 30 grannies and friends assembled to commemorate the only time the atomic bomb has been used against a country: the US bombing of the civilian population of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and three days later, the bombing of Nagasaki. These attacks created close to 200,000 casualties inflicted by atomic bombs coyly named “Little Boy” and “Fat Man.”
Although the day was hot and humid with flares of intensive sunshine, supporters held an assortment of thoughtful signage: “Who Used Nuclear Weapons?” “Hiroshima Nagasaki Never Forget,” ”Let US Renew Our Commitment to Build a Peaceful and Just World” and “When Will We Ever Learn.” Small Japanese flags declared “No More Hibakusha” (literally “explosion-affected people”), and “Article 9-A World Treasure,” referring to Article 9 in the Japanese Constitution on the abolition of war).
The granny line split as some moved across the street to a shadier location, while on both sides of the street, vigilers distributed literature and interacted with numerous passers-by who stopped to talk. Most (but not all) expressed horror at the most heinous of war crimes committed by the US.
This was a simple but effective vigil in tribute to both the victims of the massacres in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the valiant ongoing and committed peace movement in Japan.
(more photos on Facebook)
– Ann Shirazi
Photos: Phyllis Cunningham
for the Granny Peace Brigade