Friday, August 6, 2010

THE BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA: (And how it might affect us)

Today is another of those terrible anniversaries.  Two in one week (first the capture of Anne Frank and now the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima.) 

And, if August 6th comes, can August 9 and the bombing of Nagasaki be far behind?

Patrick Brian Miller who is reading Comfort in preparation for a literary tour of Warm Springs, GA wrote me with some feedback.  Among his statements was this.

"I was surprised when the father showed an immediate aversion to the nuclear attacks.

I understand that surprise.  I think most veterans of WWII and citizens, in general, would have reacted the way Ann Fay's twin sisters did. 

The two of them jumped up and held hands and danced around the kitchen like that.  They were a-whooping and a-hollering and I felt like doing the same thing--at least until I saw my daddy's face. 

And Daddy?  How did he react?

Daddy didn't say a word. He just stared at the glob of mayonnaise on his light bread. I noticed it quivering ever so slightly. But Daddy was so still, I wasn't even sure he was breathing...

He just sat there.  He didn't turn and hug me.  He didn't even squeeze Momma's hand.  Or move at all. Not on purpose, anyway. But then I felt him shaking.  The day was so warm and humid we were both damp with sweat and I was practically sticking right to him, but still, he was shivering.

It's true that one would expect a returned WWII vet to glory in the newscast of August 6, 1945. But I think, in Leroy Honeycutt I wanted to show another side of the soldier - the side that internalizes the horror of war not only for its effects on him and on his comrades but for the enemy and for humankind in general.

Leroy Honeycutt embodies the part of us that is able to see, not just our own pain, but that of others - even our perceived enemies.

At least I hope we have this in us. Especially in time of war.


  1. Thanks for addressing this issue in a post. It's always intriguing to hear a writer's inspiration on specific ideas. Considering the nature of humans, we are all extremely blessed that no one has nuked the planet yet after so many decades. I'm sure we've come close far more times than any of us would like to know.

  2. I think that you really did show the effects of war through Ann Fay's fathers eyes. I remember that passage well.