09 August 2017
“Companion book: “Normandy: A Father’s Ship and a Son’s Curiosity”
During this week in 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What did you do this week?
The painting shown is a famous one about what was then called “the thousand yard stare”. It is the blank, unfocused gaze of someone who has seen too much. This was not limited to World War II but it has been called different things in different ages. It was a symptom of what was called “soldiers heart” after the Civil War, “shell shock” in World War I, and “battle fatigue” in World War II. Now we call it PTSD. Think of what these men experienced, then think also of what their families experienced. The cost was huge.
Wars are nasty for everybody and rational people want them stopped by any means necessary. In some circles, it has become fashionable to claim the atom bombs were some sort of atrocity. The men of the PC 552 who were spared the war in the Pacific did not think so. Neither did their families, neither did the millions of Chinese spared additional atrocities, nor the millions of Japanese civilians spared surviving (or not) in a war zone.
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