By Lu Mountenay of Independence, MO, USA
Heed the urgent call to become a global family united in the name of the Christ, committed in love to one another, seeking the kingdom for which you yearn and to which you have always been summoned. That kingdom shall be a peaceable one and it shall be known as Zion. —Doctrine and Covenants 161:6b
This is a poem written in memory of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who died in the 1945 atom bomb blasts (August 6 and 9). It is written in memory of those who suffered years afterward from the effects of the bomb, and then died. It is written in honor of the Hibakusha, the survivors of the devastated cities, who have bravely told the story from generation to generation. And please allow, it was written from my poor Christian perspective, remembering that Christians were among those whose decision it was to target the cities, and among those who were complicit in their silence and did not protest loud enough.
if they were here
We try to remember, but we really don’t.
We weren’t there. Many of us weren’t born yet.
But their message is vital
so we try to remember
God must have wept hard that day—
we can never know the terror and fear they suffered,
the physical pain and thirst and nausea,
the loss of family and friend, and hair and skin.
We can never know such disorientation
and feelings of abandonment.
Blinded and deafened by the blast, they must have wondered—
Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
What did he mean?
We remember Jesus when we act in his stead
We do the things he would do, if he were here
We love, forgive, heal… give, and give again
And when we do…Jesus is here, Buddha is here, Allah is here, Yahweh and
The great Creator Spirit are here.
Tell me this, I need to know—
Who would Jesus bomb?
I hear no answer…it seems God is puzzled too.
We say, God understands everything…but not this—
not human violence against humans.
Never again. Never, ever again!
When we remember the lives of those at
Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945,
We know we must act in their stead
Do the things they would do, if they had lived,
if they were here.
Through photos taken long ago, we remember.
Through poetry, prayer, and the folding of the crane,
through the lighting of the candle and the sound of the chime,
through our ceremonies, symbols and songs
our vigils and our votes
our petitions and protest,
through careful listening to Hibakusha survivors,
we continue the story so all can see, and all can hear, and never forget.
Until the last nuclear weapon on earth is abolished,
this old scar will fester on our hearts. We remember as if they were here.
Never again, God, never again!