CeEVN8D2QQicIDavid L. Ulin at Literary Hub:

What Hiroshima has to tell us is that words make a difference, that they can not only illuminate our situation, but also help us frame a response. For that to happen, though, we need to be clear about what we are facing, clear about what we see.

I didn’t awaken on Wednesday intending to re-read Hersey’s book, and I wouldn’t describe the experience as a consoling one. But then, consolation is not what we need. More important is inevitability, the notion that certain acts, certain decisions, once undertaken, can never be undone. Despite (or perhaps because of) all our rhetoric, we remain the only nation ever to use atomic weapons on another; the morning I spent with Hiroshima was the 72nd anniversary of the second bomb to fall on Japan, the Nagasaki bomb, which killed another 80,000, a third of the people who lived there. Think about that, wherever you are standing: Look to your right and to your left and do the human math.

I live in Los Angeles, one of the cities said to be targeted if the situation with North Korea escalates. As to what this means, who’s to say? Hersey, for his part, suggests the only answer that matters: the human answer. Fire and fury? There’s nothing heroic about a nuclear strike; even the survivors are condemned. “A year after the bomb was dropped,”

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