Litkicks Message Board Archive

Personal experience

Posted to Poetry and Politics

I was thirteen when the A-bomb was dropped. My brother Gil was eighteen. He had already fought as an infantryman house to house, door to door and hand to hand in Manila which was declared an "Open City" in order to spare a civilian population from bombing.He lost many friends, all draftees like himself and he was wounded. Now, he and his division were training for the invasion of Japan. My mother,father, sister and I were very happy that the Bombs were dropped and the war was over as was every single person in America. My cousin Leonard was taken out of ROTC in college and led a Marine platoon at Guadalcanal in the jungles of the Solomon Islands. He and his men were trapped in a cave for over a month and ate human flesh to survive. My cousin Horace was a B29 pilot and was shot down. Chinese peasants carried his broken body to safety. Some of my family did not return. The Japanese fought to the last man on every island we invaded. Suicide bombers were killing many American sailors by crashing into aircraft carriers and sinking them. There was no way the Japanese military were going to surrender. It took two bombs to convince them to surrender. The first wiped out the entire Japanese 1st Imperial Army caught exercising on the ground in Hiroshima. Some say we should have dropped the bombs in the ocean as a demonstration. But since we only had two bombs and since we didn't even know if they would go off, this was not a good option. The first bomb was put together in mid-air by a mecanic. Imagine if it was a dud and failed to go off. Keep in mind, the object was to kill the Japanese, not to spare them so they could oppose our invasion.