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Chantel Kirkby , 4 June,2000
Monday 4th June
I have just read the touching of the atom bomb. I may only be a child but I felt as if I was actually there with Mr Terao. I am doing a project on the bombs and I think his work has really influenced me and my decision on weather I think the atom bomb was a good idea or not and I definitely think it was a terrible disaster that could have and should have been prevented.
Thank You again Mr Terao and God bless you and your family
Vibha Joshi U.K. 6, August,2000
I spoke to my Japanese friend last night, it was already August the 6th for him as he is in a country that is 9 hrs ahead. And then this morning it dawned on me that it was the anniversary of the dropping of the bomb and the dastardly act that annihilated Hiroshima (and 3 days later Nagasaki).
I was in Washington DC when the exhibition on B-39 bomber Enola Gay that dropped the A-bomb ,was held at the Air and Space museum. There was thorough security check before entering the exhibition enclosure. I had wondered why.
But seeing the part of plane that carried the bomb , video interview of those who flew the plane and reading the most dastardly and flimsy excuse by Americans for ending the life of several thousands of innocent people--provoked so much anguish that I understood why they security checked and didn't allow us to carry anything inside.
But they didn't have to do that, because immense emotions make one go silent and almost everyone was so shocked at what they saw and read, they came out in silence.
WHY such destruction and disrespect for life? How could anyone allow such destruction.
Reading the memoir made me realise the pain of those who survived. Of those,whose world just disappeared...family and friends never found again , ...
I am fortunate that I was able to read late Takeharu Terau-san's memories of the day none of us would want to experience. what we need to do is make sure that such things do not happen ever again...just as Takeharu -san said.
I am happy to contribute to the web-site. I was very moved to read the message from Terau-san's wife that he had never related his experience to anyone in his family.
I know from having close Japanese friends that in Japan most people try to hide their worries and pain so as to not cause pain to their near and dear ones. However, I am glad that Terao-san noted down his experience of that day, so that all of us would know the destruction and trauma such an irresponsible action had caused 55 years ago and pledge to the world that such an event will never be repeated in the history of mankind.
I had seen the Enola Gay exhibition in 1995-- 50th anniversary of the Hiroshima day.
with best regards,
Rosemarie Suniga Canada, 6,August,2000
I'm not quite sure how I stumbled upon this site, but I'm glad that I have.
Thank you for posting his memoirs of Hiroshima on the internet for people to read. It's a reminder of how destructive and senseless war can be, and that the effects of war can span generations. Again, thank you very much.
By the way, I am a 4th year university student living in the city of Winnipeg in Canada.
Misuzu Goto Oita Japan, 11,August,2000
I was born in 1958, belonging to the generation that knows nothing about the war.
I have heard of the tragedy of the war only through TV programs, movies, or books.
It was at the site of Himeyuri Monument on Okinawa Island that I first learned the tragedy of the war. A storyteller who actually survived the miserable ground battle as a girl student of Himeyuri school told me quietly her vivid experience of the days.
This time, I was shocked for the second time by reading the Terao Memoir.
I have learned for the first time the horror of Hiroshima A-bomb.
We live a daily life in peace as if it is a matter of course.
We are so busy in managing daily life, forgetting the importance of peace and only complaining of the trivials.
By getting such a shock, I feel as if everything I am concerned now is a trifle compared with war or the terror of A-bomb. It makes me believe that I can overcome everything in my daily life.
Am I too simple?
Mr. Terao's bravery encourages me that I still can, and must make the best of my life. I have never been to Hiroshima. Today, The words just escaped my lips to my husband, "Take me with my children to Hiroshima."I will visit there without fail.
Chisa Kusumi Wakayama Japan, 12,August,2000
By reading the Terao Memoir, I have learned a lesson. His record tells me the terror of A-bomb. I have been studying on A-bomb in the school through the social text books, English readers, and "War and Children" book I read in the library.
The pictures of Hiroshima after the A-bomb dropping give a keen ache to my heart. At the same time, I can never forgive the act that erased the life of many people in an instant. The Hibakushas are still suffering from the agony, many of them passed away in this year as well.
Even by knowing it, the world won't stop developing nuclear weapons or cease fires. I strongly hope that the day will come as soon as possible when all the nuclear weapons are abolished.
Thank you very much, Mr. Terao, you dared to speak out your hard memory.
Chisa Kusumi the first grade of a highschool, Wakayama City,
Martin Hoffmann Germany, 20,September,2000
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I think the a-bombs on the two cities in Japan are one of the biggest crime to human ever done, because this was an attack against civilians, against helpless people.
Short time ago, I read in a book, that Japan has capitulated before the a-bomb was used. Unfortunatly the source isn't very authentic (I read it online on a foreign server, because the book is forbidden in Germany) So I would be grateful, if you could tell me other sources, where I can read about the historical event - or maybe you know more about it. The Problem is, that it is nearly impossible to find any documents in libraries in Germany about this historical background, and books in school didn't wrote anything about it.
I'm not very political orientated, but I'm interested in history. The intrest about this topic started, when I realised, that it is untrustworthy,that Japan didn't capitulated after the first a-bomb and when I've heard the rumor, that the usa still document this a-bombs as tests.
Mr. Terao quietly appealed "Never again such a thing.
I also think, that it's right, not to blame anybody, but I also think that the USA should apologize by official and adequate way. I know that this apology wouldn't make the events undone, but then there would be a greater chance, that this kind of cruelty won't happen again - because talking about it is a preventing way. So, it is really good that there is a webpage, where everybody can read about it - especially the Personal Record of Terao-sama is very moving and of course important. It was the first time that I read about a personal report and I think Terao-sama should earn deepest honor that he talk about it,because his report is not only a report for the victims of the a-bombs, but it is also a report against the nonsense of war.
Atsuko Takiguchi Oita Japan, 24,September,2000
My name is Takiguchi. I am a teacher of Minami-Aki elementary school in Aki town Higashi-Kunisaki county, Oita prefecture. I am in charge of the fourth grade of the school and am a mother of two children as well. I am 33 years old.
I bought a personal computer in this March and found your website.It took me, however, two months to open the site. Today, I ventured to read it.
If it had happened on myself, I would have shut my mouth tightly until die, fearing possible discriminations to me and to my relatives.
Mr. Matsumura, you were really blessed with a great teacher. I make it my pride that we had such a great teacher here in Oita.
Dear Matsumura, I hope to make use of this "A Personal Record of HIroshima A-bomb Survival" as a class correspondence. May I get your permission?
The other day, I saw an article in Asahi website. It reads that a female scientist who was involved in developing an A-bomb has been living in China after the World War 2.
I can't find proper words to express my feeling, but I think strongly that I will be a teacher who can hand down the Terao Memoir and at the same time who will keep be sensitive to such a touching story.
In our school, kids are practicing for the school's field day in a peaceful time. I cannot help but pray that those ordinary days are literally to be "ordinary" when I look at well tanned faces of the laughing students.
Brian S. Brumfield U.S.A., 26,September,2000
To whom it may concern:
I am writing as an American citizen, and also as advocate of WWII memories (I will explain shortly), to express my gratitude for the courage and strength shown by those that have provided their stories of the atomic bomb explosion over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 - as well as the untold stories from the countless souls also lost on the
island of Nagasaki shortly thereafter.
Please let me provide some history on my perspective. Also, this story is not meant in any way to detract from the horror and suffering of the Japanese people as a result of the bombing, it is meant as a reminder of the ironies of war... and that every side of a war loses, no matter what the apparent outcome!
I am involved with a volunteer organization that collects, restores, and flies WW2-era aircraft, the Confederate Air Force. My local group in Boulder, Colorado, the Mile High Wing, has in its care a 1943 Lockheed C-60 Lodestar. This aircraft was the basis for the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura. We have been particularly interested in the Lockheed Ventura, since this is the type of aircraft that was flown by the aircrew that found the survivors of the U.S.S. Indianapolis.
Here comes the hard part of this email, as it is interlaced with horrors from the United States as well as Japan, but will hopefully help to paint a picture that illustrates exactly why war cannot continue if we human beings are to survive on this relatively small planet.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed by the United States in August of 1945. This is undeniably a horrific end to a long and brutal war, World War 2. The radioactive cores of these bombs were delivered to the island of Tinian, near Saipan, in the last days of July, 1945. One of the couriers of this critical component of the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, was the U.S.S. Indianapolic, CA-35, a US cruiser, not designed for self defense but for speed.
So secret was the mission of the Indianapolis, that the US Navy did not have this voyage scheduled or tracked like any other. She was alone. She traveled from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor, and from Pearl Harbor she sailed to Tinian where the bomb components were delivered - setting a new U.S. speed record in the process. After leaving Tinian, her orders were to process to Leyte, in the Philippines, for military readiness drills.
Almost exactly half way between Guam and Leyte, shortly after midnight, July 30, 1945, submarine I-58 of the Japanese Imperial Navy, spotted and launched six torpedoes at the Indianapolis.
On the Indianapolis, it was business as usual at 12:00am. A shift change had taken place, off-duty men were retiring to their bunks as the next shift took over. The captain of the ship, Captain Charles Butler McVay III, was sleeping in his quarters.
As the torpedoes tore into the hull of the Indianapolis, she was torn to pieces. Her bow snapped off. Her 15+ knot forward momentum just scooped the Pacific into the ship. She sank in just 12 minutes.
Out of 1196 men, 900 made it in to the dark shark-infested Pacific.
300 men were trapped and went down with the ship. Since the Indianapolis' mission was so secret and she was not being tracked by the normal means, her distress calls were dismissed.
Four days passed before the first sign of hope appeared on August 2, 1945. A Lockheed PV-1 "Ventura" flown from the island of Peleliu - in the Palau Group, piloted by Lt. Wilbur "Chuck" Gwinn in Navy Patrol/Bomber squadron VPB-152, stumbled across the oil slick and men in the water - by chance, while on an anti-submarine mission.
Two more days passed before all the bodies were pulled from the ocean, on August 4, 1945.
All told, 300 men were pulled alive from the Pacific, 900 men perished.
This is an ironic and horrible coincidence. These men who died, who did not know what they were delivering - nor what the results would be, were casualties of the mission to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, before the bombs were even dropped!
War is a horrible waste of life. And for what ultimate purpose? Primarily dgree, but also to inflate the egos of the men and women that rule our nations.
It must not be allowed to happen again!
The survivors of the incidents such as Hiroshima, must continue to tell their stories, because if the public consciousness is allowed to forget the horrors that might otherwise be lost, we as humans are destined to repeat these tragedies!!
My deepest and most appreciative thanks go out to those that found the strength to tell their stories, so that the rest of us might not follow in the tracks that lead to the events that have forever changed the way we live.
May the World NEVER FORGET the victims of WWII, as well as all the wars before and since.
C.Seydlitz U.S.A., 17,December,2000
Reading your tale of woe is a very powerful testimonial to the power and evil of a government.I truely hope that some day we as one will never have to worry about such death and distruction again.
As it has darkened your soul to have to remember such things,it must be very terrible for the ones that were very young at the time.The children I mean.If adults chose such stupid and horrible ways to solve their problems,it would be wonderful if we could shelter our little ones from such memories and pain.I pray the world never has to go through such an evil again.