I Remember

“Freestyle memory. Write I remember at the top of your post, hit start on the timer, and write about the first memory that comes to mind. Ten minutes. Don’t stop…. If ten minutes seems too short, go for 15 or 20 minutes. You can shape this challenge to suit you.” —WordPress Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge

Today is August 6, 2013 and the 68th anniversary of dropping the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima. My strongest memory today is from August 9, 1995—the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.

I was working a show job at Moscone Center in San Francisco and when I awoke that morning the news was full of stories about Nagasaki and Jerry Garcia. Jerry died of a heart attack that morning in a West Marin Rehab center, just 8 days after his 53rd birthday.

The worst was when electric and telephone wires got twisted around people’s legs and they couldn’t escape…and they died in that position, fallen to their knees.
—Yosuke Yamahata

Across the street from the convention center is the Ansel Adams Gallery and they had a photo exhibit of Yosuke Yamahata, a young Japanese Army photographer who went to Nagasaki the day after the bombing and documented the devastation.

I was working the afternoon shift, so I got to town early and went to the Adams Gallery before work. The experience was haunting. I looked at the photos and tried to put myself in his shoes, but I could not make the leap from my reality to his.

The black and white photographs were as technically perfect as the photographs of Ansel Adam’s and Yamahata’s message was loud and clear: We can’t have the pristine wilderness evoked in Adam’s images if we are going to pursue Nuclear Annihilation.

Final Thoughts

Yosuke Yamahata was born on August 6, 1917—28 years to the day that Hiroshima was bombed. He died on April 18, 1966—24 years to the day that General Jimmy Doolittle led the bombing raid on Tokyo.

If the statement that “There are no coincidences in life” is true, then Yosuke Yamahata was the right man, at the right time, to preserve History for Mankind. That act alone, probably cost him his life. Yamahata was diagnosed with terminal cancer in his duodenum, most likely caused from radiation exposure in Nagasaki.

We live and we die.
We live and we learn (if we are lucky).
We remember the past and vow to make a better future.

Related Links:

  14 comments for “I Remember

  1. August 6, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    A great read
    I really must get into more writing – thanks for the inspiration.


  2. August 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Extremely well done Allan, it does make one think; or it least it should. The links are great, thank you.


    • August 8, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      I am glad that you liked the links and the post. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


      Sent from my iPhone


  3. August 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    I cannot believe that reading your post has had such a gut wrenching effect on me. I can scarcely breathe. A horrible act that I hope will never be repeated. war is horrific enough, without that total devastation.


    • August 6, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      Hello Lily,

      I believe that those responsible for using the bomb did not fully understand the ramifications of their actions. We can look back and say, “Never again!”, but they were just trying to end a horrific war.

      Hopefully we will not repeat the actions of the past.


      Sent from my iPhone


  4. August 6, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Allan, you know how I enjoy contrast and compare. Exceptionally done here. A message we would all be wise to remember.


    • August 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      Thanks, Stephanie. It is a lesson that we need to relearn, especially when the ‘nuclear’ option is brought out as a solution to our temporary problem. The day-after photos of Nagasaki really bring home the reality of Nuclear War.



  5. August 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    This is a wonderful post. Thought provoking, and a strong message. History seems to repeat itself.


    • August 6, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Thanks, Angeline. Repetition can be good or bad, in anything.


  6. August 6, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Nicely recalled and recorded: raises the query about why humans are forever repeating the negative as much as the positive.


    • August 6, 2013 at 9:45 AM



      • August 6, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        I hope not. Maybe more unwillingness to view the whole as well as the sum of the parts.


      • August 6, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        Good point. We must make a conscious choice to change, until then it is back to the same old stuff.


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