There were only a few things wrong with the massive parade today in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day. The folks doing the celebrating only tangentially represent the Chinese who most actively resisted the Japanese invaders. And the celebration itself, meant to signify China's emerging superpower status, fell a little flat.
As a 13-year-old schoolgirl, I witnessed my city of Hiroshima blinded by the flash, flattened by the hurricane-like blast, burned in the heat of 4000 degrees Celsius and contaminated by the radiation of one atomic bomb. Miraculously, I was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building, about 1.8 kilometers from Ground Zero.
One thing that originally sparked efforts for the dome's historical preservation was the diary of Hiroko Kajiyama, a high school student who died of leukemia as a result of radiation exposure. A former classmate who seeks to keep the memory of Hiroko alive has been collecting information in order to document her life.
A little over 70 years ago, Paul Olum stood with his colleagues in the desert near Alamogordo, NM. They had spent the last few years designing the first atomic bomb. Six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, World War II was over -- and Paul Olum became a lifelong advocate of nuclear arms control and disarmament.