On Sunday I attended the International Forgiveness Day celebrations where a lifetime achievement award was given to Bob Plath. For 17 years Bob has tirelessly worked to promote forgiveness. Several "Heroes of Forgiveness" were there to acknowledge Bob, including Takashi Tanemori.
At the age of eight, Takashi was playing hide and seek with his classmates. The day was Aug. 6, 1945. Little Boy was falling from the sky (3 days later the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki).
Takashi was one mile from ground zero. His mother, sister and brother died immediately in the blast. His father died a month later.
In an article Takashi shared this story about his father, "The night before he died, he taught me the seven codes of the samurai and said, ‘Promise me that you will teach your children that which I taught you. Promise yourself and promise to me that you will live your life as I lived before you. Live for the benefit of others, then we all benefit. This is the simplest way to make a peaceful world.’ ”
At the Forgiveness Day, Takashi, now frail, nearly blind and with a warm smile, talked about forgiving America, which has allowed him to have peace in himself.
Today is the 68th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It is a time to reflect about the lives that were lost that day and the need for humanity, all us, to develop our moral capacity to keep pace with our technology.
The dawning of the atomic age woke us up to the fact that we have the power to destroy ourselves.
Last year I interviewed Steven Leeper from the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. At that time Steven emphatically pointed out that even though the cold war is over, the potential risk of nuclear weapons being used is increasing. In the next five years the number of countries with such weapons will grow dramatically.
Director of Peace
The Shift Network