August 6—Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima
August 9—Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki
“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
–Elie Wiesel, Night
War is a depredation of the human spirit that is sold as the loftiest of livelihoods. To hide the rape and
pillage, the degradation and disaster, the training of human beings to become animals in ways we would
allow no animals to be, we have concocted a language of mystification.
We could casualties now in terms of “collateral damage,” the number of millions of civilians we are
prepared to lose in nuclear war and still call ourselves winners. We call the deadliest weapons in the
history of humankind, the most benign of names: Little Boy, Bambi, Peacemakers. The nuclear
submarine used to launch Cruise missiles that can target and destroy 250 first-class cities at one time,
for instance, we name “Corpus Christi,” Body of Christ, a blasphemy used to describe the weapon that
will break the Body of Christ beyond repair.
We take smooth-faced young men out of their mother’s kitchens to teach them how to march blindly
into death, how to destroy what they do not know, how to hate what they have not seen. We make
victims of the victors themselves. We call the psychological maiming, the physical squandering, the
spiritual distortion of the nation’s most vulnerable defenders “defense.” We turn their parents and
sweethearts and children into the aged, the widowed, and the orphaned before their time. “We make
a wasteland and call it peace,” the Roman poet Seneca wrote with miserable insight.
–from There is a Season
To forget the dead…
This book is out of print.