I’m ashamed to say that this year, the first for many years, on 6th August I forgot it was Hiroshima Day. I remembered, belatedly, this morning.
Now I probably wasn’t amongst those missed from the commemoration events in Japan, but I myself felt very guilty today. It sounds a bit lame to admit that I was otherwise engaged in shopping, blogging, fundraising.
But what makes the date so very poignant is the current situation in England. People razing city centres to the ground for no reason other than greed, jealousy and wanton destruction.
It is a stark reminder that all those years ago, throughout the world, people were in fear of their lives, and for that reason they offered themselves up, placed themselves heroically in danger for the sake of their fellow countrymen.
Hiroshima itself, although a major turning point of the second world war, saw huge numbers of people killed, horrifically injured and left with the lasting effects of exposure to atomic waste.
Which is not to be trite enough to say that over the past few years ‘we’ve never had it so good’. It is to say that some of the excuses offered over the past couple of days for the unspeakable behaviour of louts in London and other cities, alluding as they do to poverty in inner cities, isolation and exclusion of young people and high unemployment levels, denies the experiences of previous generations, where poverty, unemployment and exclusion were also endemic. And yet where those same unattached youths and the general population knew about social, civic and personal responsibility, valued the communities and society around them and recognized the separate obligations of the state and the individual. And had sufficient community spirit to look out for one another.
For myself, the very distressing aspect of this situation and the television footage, apart from the fear, shock and heartbreak evident on the faces of the newly homeless and those whose relatives were murdered, has been the impact on my personal principles and belief system. Where life-long libertarian, socialist aspirations are being challenged by the competing, inner fascist!
Oooohh dear!!! I fear I am, indeed, becoming my mothers’ daughter!!!