Atomic bomb survivors tell their story

By on October 3, 2007

This past Thursday night, Quinnipiac University had the pleasure of welcoming three distinguished men to campus. Two survivors of the American nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hirotami Yamada and Kohta Kiya and the learned and honored worker for peace, Dr. Jonathan Granoff were present in Alumni Hall to tell their stories and let their opinions be known.

“I’m going to tell you the story of the impact the atomic bombs had on the [Japanese] lives,” Yamada said.

The emotional Yamada told his personal account of the devastating effects of the attack including the deaths of nearly all of his immediate family members.

“Some bodies were so torched and broken, you could not tell if they were male or female,” Yamada said.

“The sky was so red.we could not get to any medicine [in the city],” Kiya explained.

But both men stressed the fact that the innocent lives taken immediately by the attack only made up a portion of those deaths caused by the atomic weaponry.

“I want to emphasize the fact that people are still dying today,” said Yamada referring to the 8,000 lives taken each year as a result of the radiation from the bombs.

“I was four years old at the time of bombing, so I may be one of the last generations to give speeches from the bombing experience.we shall never ever have any more nuclear bombings and we shall eliminate nuclear weapons,” Kiya said.

So, what can this generation and the American people do to stop the development of nuclear weapons? Granoff stood at the podium to discuss his research on the impossibility of peace. The knowledgeable and well-spoken Granoff spoke of the necessity to halt the use of nuclear warfare.

Granoff quoted his son in saying, “To kill thousands of innocent people, you must first dehumanize them.the world cannot offer to dehumanize any more people.”

He also articulated the importance for the current generation to be well-versed in the facts of this evident problem as well as in the issues of poverty and global protection. Granoff believes that the people of America have a “personal responsibility for know the issues.” As the young adults destined to engage in the future of the country, he expressed that students should know the aims of those running for office and ask these questions: What are your plans for fighting poverty, what are your plans for protecting the global commons, what are your plans to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Kiya sums up the purpose of the three visitors well. “Thinking of Hiroshima is to refuse nuclear warfare. Thinking of Hiroshima is to take a responsibility for peace.”


About Rhiannon Adams