to cash in...
AP Reporter Heather Clark Albuquerque Journal reports on Shigeko Sasamori's experience as a survivor of the US atomic bomb, dropped on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. Her story is one of the many we must repeat and remember:
The 73-year-old grandmother was a 13-year-old school girl when she saw the nuclear bomb drop from the blue morning sky over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.
Sasamori traveled to New Mexico — the birthplace of the atomic bomb — on the 60th anniversary of the Trinity Test to ask scientists to stop nuclear warfare.
"I want to talk to their hearts and beg them not to do it,'' she said.
On that August morning in 1945, Sasamori said she and a friend were setting out to join a work crew that was going to clear a city street less than a mile from Ground Zero.
"I saw the airplane and I saw the bomb drop,'' she said in an interview. "I told my schoolmate next to me 'Look at the airplane, it's so beautiful.'''
Her 13-year-old friend was killed in the blast.
Sasamori then felt a force knock her to the ground.
"The next thing I knew, it's completely blacked out, like dead earth,'' she said. "I wasn't scared. I didn't have any feelings, emotions, nothing.''
As she sat up, she saw gray shapes of people moving silently through the lifting fog. They were covered with gray and black ash, their hair was burned and their blistering and hanging skin was visible through tattered clothing.
"I saw that everybody looked so terrible, just like they came from hell,'' she said. "No one was talking, no one was screaming.''
Ms. Sasamori now lives in Marina del Rey, CA. It is sad that she must witness the profiteering of the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque:
The museum advertised the $125-per-ticket event on its Web site as a chance to relive the drama, secrecy, excitement and awe of the Manhattan Project. Participants were given a secret identity at the door of the museum and were treated to food, a cash bar, a '40s fashion show, slides of the Trinity test and a panel discussion by historians and test participants. On Saturday, they were taken to the Trinity test site in southern New Mexico for a tour.
"Many people are dead. Those people's souls aren't happy. Why are you celebrating?'' Sasamori said. "You are making a weapon to kill us. So, I feel that's not appropriate to celebrate.''
A museum spokeswoman did not answer a voice mail message and no one answered several phone calls to the museum Friday.
On Aug. 6, Sasamori said she will mark the 60th anniversary of the bomb being dropped on Hiroshima with a more appropriate ceremony: a moment of silence in her home town to remember the dead.
Ms. Sasamori was brought to the US for reconstructive surgery by Norman Cousins in 1955.
One-fourth of Sasamori's body was burned, her fingers were scorched to the bone and she had as many as 30 operations to repair the damage. Three years ago, she underwent surgery for intestinal cancer and doctors now think she has thyroid cancer. . .
Eventually, Sasamori decided to settle in the U.S. where she became a nurse.
Sasamori . . . said she is not angry at Americans for how World War II ended, but rather hates war itself and is saddened by the actions of those who made the bomb.