Thursday, August 06, 2015

Remembering Dorothy Day's Response to the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima

Mr. Truman was jubilant. President Truman. True man; what a strange name, come to think of it. We refer to Jesus Christ as true God and true Man. Truman is a true man of his time in that he was jubilant. He was not a son of God, brother of Christ, brother of the Japanese, jubilating as he did. He went from table to table on the cruiser which was bringing him home from the Big Three conference, telling the great news; “jubilant” the newspapers said. Jubilate Deo. We have killed 318,000 Japanese.

That is, we hope we have killed them, the Associated Press, on page one, column one of the Herald Tribune, says. The effect is hoped for, not known. It is to be hoped they are vaporized, our Japanese brothers – scattered, men, women and babies, to the four winds, over the seven seas. Perhaps we will breathe their dust into our nostrils, feel them in the fog of New York on our faces, feel them in the rain on the hills of Easton.

Jubilate Deo. President Truman was jubilant. We have created. We have created destruction. We have created a new element, called Pluto. Nature had nothing to do with it.

– Dorothy Day
Excerpted from "We Go on Record:
The Catholic Worker Response to Hiroshima
September 1945

Related Off-site Links:
Hiroshima: 70 Years On, One Survivor Remembers the Horror of the World's First Atomic Bombing – Danielle Demetriou (The Telegraph, August 2, 2015).
Hiroshima Commemorates 70th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing – Jonathan Soble (The New York Times, August 6, 2015).
70 Years After Bombing of Hiroshima, Calls to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – Sarah Lazare (Common Dreams, August 6, 2015).
The "Sanitized Narrative' of Hiroshima's Atomic Bombing – Rupert Wingfield-Hayes (BBC News, August 4, 2015).
Was It Right? – Thomas Powers (The Atlantic, July 1995).
The Indefensible Hiroshima Revisionism That Haunts America to This Day – Christian Appy (Tom Dispatch via Salon, August 5, 2015).
US bombing Anniversary: Demand disarmament – Editorial Staff (National Catholic Reporter, August 6, 2015).
The Firebombing of Tokyo – Rory Fanning (Jacobin, March 9, 2015).
Dorothy Day, Pacifism, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki – Walter G. Moss (LA Progressive, August 7, 2012).

Calls to Abolish Nukes on Nagasaki Bombing 70th Anniversary – Eugene Hoshiko (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, August 9, 2015).
On the A-Bomb's 70th Anniversary, Obama Wants to Spend a Trillion Dollars on New Nuclear Weapons – Elliott Negin (The Huffington Post via Common Dreams, August 8, 2015).
10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy Off Militarism – Medea Benjamin (Telesur via Common Dreams, August 7, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – August 6, 2012
Prayer of the Week – August 7, 2011
Summer Round-Up 2011
The Challenge of Peace
A Dangerous State of Mind
Remembering Dorothy Day
Remembering the "Radical Ethic" of the Catholic Worker Movement

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