Maybe you knew about the story of August 6th. But did you know there was a sequel to it, only three days after it? And even if you knew, do you know how it unfolds?
On this day seventy-one years ago, a city that was well-known for housing devout Catholics was struck with a force of mass destruction said to be one-and-a-half times more powerful than the one exerted three days prior to it. Although its initial impact was contained by the landscape of the city, being surrounded by mountains, its delayed and long-lasting effects spread rapidly to those who came to the city in the following hours and days to search for families and rescue and treat survivors.
Maybe there was no need for the sequel.
Maybe it was completely uncalled for and could be viewed as an overkill.
Maybe it was the moment curiosity won over compassion and the dark side of science came out.
Like I said three days ago, I have no way of knowing the truths to these “maybe’s,” so I cannot not judge one way or another. Instead, I will tell you how the story continues.
The survivors, many being devout Catholics, chose to pray for the resurrection of their city and reconstruction of their lives. They chose to pray to be the last to experience firsthand what they did, so that there will be no more like them, never again. They chose to pray that their prayers for peace will proliferate over generations and across race, culture, and religion. And they made their prayers into songs.
To this date, over one-hundred-and-seventy thousand lives lost are said to stem from this day seventy-one years ago. And here too, the average age of those who are still with us have reached eighty years. But as the number of the last to experience decrease in acceleration, the number of those who sing their songs of prayers are steadily increasing, being sung by old and young, and performed around the world… just as they have prayed.
Through the spread of these songs of prayers, those who were terrorized by an evil flash and blaze of science on this day seventy-one years ago have found a way to “escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without [the causes of their terror],” if I may borrow words from the sitting leader of the country that caused their terror.
I pray in the belief that no one ever truly wished for this sequel. And I pray in the hopes that everyone will come to sing the songs of prayers, so the story will never end and there will be no more, never again. I would like to leave you with one of these songs of prayers to let the story continue. Maybe you can sing along, and invite another to join in?
“A thousand paper cranes” (written for the fiftieth memorial year)
Fold a scarlet crane with a renewed vow for peace,
Keep a white crane in heart, as pure as ever,
Fold a red crane to show this passion arising from within.
Fold a purple crane in earnest wish for peace,
Keep a yellow crane in heart, for those lying underground,
Fold a blue crane for those sunken underwater.
Fold a green crane and breathe in it a prayer for peace,
Keep an indigo crane in heart, that every life matters, above all
Fold a pink crane to dream and hope for the future
Keep folding a rainbow of cranes to dream and hope for the future
Who knew that every colour in the rainbow of cranes had a prayer for peace to go along?
(Sorry, the indigo / purple colour difference may not show too well on screen…)