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Shadows on the Wall

September 04, 2017

In 1971, the author visited Hiroshima, Japan on a business trip and made the pilgrimage to the Hiroshima Memorial Hall which had been the Prefectural Promotion Hall prior to August 6, 1945.

An image taken August 6, 1945 is shown below:

The level of destruction and death is beyond comprehension as 70,000 people died that day and many more faced a lingering death over the remainder of their lives.

The crew of the Enola Gay suffered traumatic memories following the event as even they could not have comprehended what havoc they were about to wreak that morning. They were just ordinary guys following the orders of Harry Truman. He probably had no idea of the impact of his decision though his intentions were honorable and ultimately saved a far greater number of lives that would have been lost in a ground invasion of Japan.

Upon returning to our hotel in Hiroshima that afternoon, we were advised to not go out in the evening as emotions were still quite strong against Americans among the survivors. Quite frankly, we were happy to spend a somber evening and not hit the bars which was the customary evening activity on the road.

So now comes the "Mad Hatter" Kim Jung Un about whom we have commented in the past and the recent reaction of this government to unleash "fire and fury" on him. Most of you would agree that a gun to the head in the Luca Brasi fashion of "The Godfather" usually constitutes an offer any sane person cannot refuse. On the other hand, no one has ever suggested that the Mad Hatter is sane. Life means nothing to leaders who let their people starve while spending huge state funds on foolish weapons. On the other hand, the Chinese have a saying for those who make threats they cannot deliver and that is "Paper Tiger." Nonetheless, the threat of nuclear annihilation is beyond anyone's ability to comprehend other than a Mad Hatter.

You may wonder how all of this relates to the title above. Shadows on the wall are images such as that shown below of bombing victims in Hiroshima. Thermal radiation bleaches the surface of walls. Therefore, when an object comes in between that source of radiation and the surface behind it, a permanent shadow is formed.

Moreover, the shadows include both the young and the elderly.

Therefore, let's all understand a bit of history as well as cause and effect before you put a gun to a mad man's head.

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