FLASH! On august 6, 1945 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Thousands of people died instantly from the initial blast. Others died later because of flash burns and radiation sickness. Those who lived had to move away from their homes and toward the parade grounds and parks. Any doctors that were uninjured had to work nonstop all day and night mending wounds. Some people mysteriously die and others are unrecognizable because of the flash burns covering their bodies.
The few people that had survived the blast had to try to put their lives back to normal. Homes had been destroyed and family members killed. Now new people had started moving into Hiroshima once news spread that is was safe. The book Hiroshima was an enlightening view of what went on during the atomic blast and the days after. The part that sticks most in my mind was when Mr.
Tanimoto was trying to help burn victims on the shore of the river. When he grabbed the one woman's arm to pull her out to the boat he was using to transport injured people chunks of her skin slid right off. I could visualize the skin coming off because of a similar but not nearly as extreme of an experience. I had burned my arm on an oven rack and when I was wiping off my arm the skin peeled right off. As I read the section I could imagine a large piece of skin peeling off of a human hand and I thought that I would lose my dinner. Another thing that remained in my memory throughout the novel was that people put their beliefs before their injuries.
Mr. Tanimoto mention that he was ashamed that he could walk when he saw all of the injured people lying about unable to move. Dr. Sasaki didn't sleep for the first three days because he knew it would be wrong to. Amazingly though, the injured had no shame they walked naked with burns from head to toe and thought nothing of it. The bomb fell silently and as in struck the ground a bright flash lit the whole city.
The residents who lived through couldn't seem to realize what kind of bomb it was. Some thought it was a cluster of many bombs. Rumors spread that a plane that had flown over had sprayed gasoline all across the city. Another said that magnesium powder had been dropped and reacted to the power lines. It wasn't until a radio broadcast announced that the bomb was atomic that the citizens of Hiroshima knew the truth. The bomb was 2000 times more powerful than the previously most powerful bombs ever used.
The atomic bomb is a disgusting way to kill people. Most bomb blasts would kill a person instantly, but not the atomic bomb. Sure the atomic bomb killed some people instantly, but so many more were left to die a slow painful death. People who had extreme burns had skin peel off after the slightest tug.
Others got terrible chills that only ended in death. Many of the survivors were sickened from the radiation, which made them lose hair and heal very slowly. The few people who had managed to survive had the mental scars left behind by the excruciating ordeal. The images of charred bodies and stinking corpses would remain forever imbedded in their memories. Besides the physical injuries people lost their homes and possessions. Their families had died and they had nothing in their once peaceful town.
The only problem I found with the book was the way everything was put together. It made it very difficult to fallow some of what was going on during the book. The names were intertwined into the sections sometimes, and in others each person's experience was given an individual section.