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2006-08-09

Nagasaki Marks 61st Anniversary of U.S. Atomic Bombing

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In Japan, the city of Nagasaki is marking the 61st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing. Over 200,000 people died in the 1945 atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We play an excerpt of a speech by a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing. [includes rush transcript]

In Japan, the city of Nagasaki is marking the 61st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing. Earlier today, dignitaries gathered for a service at Nagasaki’s peace park. A moment of silence was held at 11:02 am, the moment the bomb was dropped. Over 200,000 people died in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We turn now to a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. At the time of the explosion, Sakue Shimohira was in an air raid shelter one kilometer away from the epicenter. She was ten years old. She spoke at a rally in New York’s Central Park in May of last year.

  • Sakue Shimohira, a survivor of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki speaking in New York, May 2005.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. At the time of the explosion, Sakue Shimohira was in an air raid shelter a kilometer from the epicenter. She was ten years old. She spoke recently at a rally in New York’s Central Park.

SAKUE SHIMOHIRA: [translated] Suddenly I felt a blinding flash. It was too enormous and intense to describe. Just a flash. Next, the blast blew us off. When I regained consciousness, I found my younger sister in the corner of the shelter and my nephew under the tatami mat. Auntie Matsuda, blackened all over her body, with her baby, also seared, in arms, arrived and collapsed. She had a big open wound on her throat. We gave her water. When she was drinking it, water was also streaming out of her open wound. She said, "It tasted so good. Thank you," and died. My brother, too, vomiting yellow matter and crying, "I don’t want to die." And he died. Both my mother and my elder sister were found dead and seared around our house.

AMY GOODMAN: Atomic bombing survivor Sakue Shimohira. She was ten years old when the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

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