Ground Zero: The 1945 Summer Issue

On a sunny August morning in the summer of 1945, the United States dropped an 18-kiloton atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima immediately killing 100,000 thousand people. Flowers bloomed, insects were bountiful and humanity flourished with a strong sense of spirituality, each religious sect fervent about their earthly notions of a higher power.

Shortly before 8:15 a.m. somewhere in the city:

A Shinto High Priest

worshiped at the shrine of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, Shinto’s most revered kami 

A Catholic Nun

knelt and clutched her rosary beads as she silently prayed to a life-size statue of the Virgin Mary

A Buddhist Monk

arduously recited a mantra seeking favor from Amitabha Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Light

A Rabbi

wore a yarmulke during Shacharit, reciting devotional morning prays in Hebrew

A Vaishnavite Guru

bowed before a bronze effigy of Brahma, the supreme god believed to be the origin, cause and foundation of all existence

At the precise moment of the bomb’s impact

EACH DEVOTEE’S

eyes were closed in deep mediation when they were

i n s t a n t a n e o u s l y i n c i n e r a t e d

each disconnected from each other’s religious beliefs, culture and lifestyles

each oblivious to the economic, scientific, political and military psychopaths

wiping their existence from the face of the earth

” I knew the Japs were in for it, but I felt no particular emotion about it,” said William S. Parsons, the Navy Captain responsible for arming the “The Little Boy,” the cynical name given to the atom bomb dropped on the designated target that fateful morning.