I have been listening to the strained, angry rhetoric between our president and the leader of North Korea. It’s like listening to two 7-year-old children. With the U.S. and North Korea having the capability of creating massive numbers of deaths because of nuclear weapons, it brings back memories of what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the end of WWII.

Historian Paul Ham has written a book on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He states in 1945, when atom bombs were dropped on these two cities by the U.S., Hiroshima’s population was 320,000, and Nagasaki’s population was 260,000. Approximately 115,000 at Hiroshima died or were wounded, and at Nagasaki 65,000 were killed or wounded. The bomb at Nagasaki was subject to a force equal to 22,000 tons of TNT. In summary, more than 100,000 people were killed instantly by the two bombs, mostly women, children and the elderly.

At Nagasaki, the bomb completely burned or wrecked the city’s hospitals, and 18 schools and universities were totally destroyed. The bomb destroyed Nagasaki’s main hospital, and none of the patients survived. About 65,000 of Hiroshima’s 90,000 buildings “were rendered unusable.” The flash of the bomb lasted only a fraction of a second, but it caused third-degree burns to exposed skin.

We know what happens if the U.S. and North Korea drop nuclear bombs on each other. In regard to nuclear-war issues, I’m watching to see what kind of moral compass and soul do politicians and citizens have at this time.

LEON K. FREEBURG

Janesville

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