Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Apology for Hiroshima--A New Poem

This poem is in response to Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Hiroshima yesterday.

Apology for Hiroshima

Secretary John Kerry,
Deeply moved by his visit to Hiroshima today,
Still issued no apology from the United States.

So if he won’t do it, I will:

By the power vested in me
(as a human being,
a citizen of the United States,
a citizen of the World—
as a Catholic Christian,
as the son of a US Navy Veteran,
who served on the high seas near Japan in August 1945 . . .)

I apologize for the use of the atomic bomb on civilians and soldiers,
For the killing of some 150,000 people in Hiroshima
(no one will ever know the number),
For the use of the greatest tool of death on a city, &
For the subsequent annihilation of Nagasaki.

And knowing that I myself might never have been born
If the war in the Pacific continued                 still
I apologize in the name of the Untied States.

I ask other people, other countries,
To apologize for the atrocities, sins, and mistakes of the past—
History that we can’t change,
History that must never be repeated.

Robert M. Coughlin / April 11, 2016

No comments: