8:15 a.m. 1945

At, exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk.—Opening sentence, Hiroshima, John Hersey, 1946.

Little Boy now there’s a code word you should remember.August 5th 1945 Little Boy the most powerful  weapon  in the world was loaded into the belly of a B-29 Superfortress on Tinian island. Colonel Paul Tibbets who was to pilot the big bomber was mortified as he approached from across the tarmac. Painted on the nose of the plane was the name of his mother, Enola Gay. Paul didn’t think  his mother Enola Gay Tibbets would ever deliver a package like Little Boy to anybody. Regardless there was a schedule to keep and if the mission was successful it would save over a hundred thousand American lives. No one told Colonel Paul how many lives would be lost because no one could tell, they didn’t have any idea.8:15 a.m.August 6th Little Boy the worlds first atomic bomb  exploded over the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Over one hundred and forty thousand people were killed, the majority civilians. I grew up shortly after the end of World War two and knew that the war with the Japanese ended because of the atomic bomb. I didn’t learn about what that bomb meant until I read the book Hiroshima sometime in the early 1960s. The book by John Hershey was first written as an article appearing August 31, 1946 in the New Yorker. The article took up the entire magazine. Something the New Yorker had never done before or since. The article  has been judged one of the best pieces of journalism in the 20th century. To me it was one of the most horrifying, shocking, fascinating things I had ever read. It changed my view of life. If you have never read Hiroshima I strongly recommend it. The journalism is superb and it documents a pivotal point in modern history. A history we should all be familiar with.Earth Stone Station contributed to that history 50 years after the first atomic explosion. In May of 1993 the documentary video Remembering Los Alamos, World War Two  premiered in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of Little Boy and Fat Man. Earth Stone Station in partnership with the Los Alamos Historical Society produced a documentary that examined the lives of those scientists, there wives and the military personnel that developed the weapon in a top secret town on a remote mesa in the Jemez Mountains . Over 70 individuals were interviewed. For most it was the first time they had told their story, now many have have passed away.  Explosive experts, MPs, Spanish homesteaders, the photographer at White Sands test all remember the secrecy and sense of purpose but unknowing of what was commonly referred to as the “gadget”.  An excellent article about the video is at    http://www.desertexposure.com/200507/200507_los_alamos.html. The article by Theressa Strottman, historian and co-producer describes the video and interviews in a university publication.Sixty Six years now. I was just remembering. For the 50th year  remembrance at Los Alamos, Earth Stone Station directed the video and did all camera, sound, sets, plus post and editing. It was privilege to work with the Historical Society and their prestige opened a lot of doors that made the project feasible. A few copies of the video are still available at Amazon.com sometimes or if you are interested you can contact the Los Alamos Historical Society.At 8:15 a.m. August 6th, 2011 a bell will ring in a temple at Peace Park, Hiroshima, Japan. I was just remembering.
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About earthstonestation

promoting environmental education, protecting all species and preserving the wild places with art, music and storytelling.
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2 Responses to 8:15 a.m. 1945

  1. Candy says:

    I remember when you aided in that production. Is it available anywhere for purchase on dvd? Somehow it escaped my collection of old vhs tapes – most of which have deteriorated with age.

    • Amazon.com did have some copies available and I believe The Los Alamos Historical Society has DVDs from the master for sale at the book shop. Try their web site. Mahalo for your interest.

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