The atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 was one of the most horrific events in human history. In a single moment, the atomic bomb destroyed an entire city and killed over 100,000 of its inhabitants. The massive scope of the Hiroshima atomic bombing destruction and its effects makes it hard for us to comprehend. In not comprehending we risk it happening again, although this time with modern atomic weapons with many times the destructive power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. It is through the personal stories of atomic bomb eyewitnesses that we can begin to understand the suffering endured by ordinary people. Through atomic bomb survivor stories we can begin to imagine what it was like to live through the unimaginable. And when the horrors of the atomic bomb become real to us then perhaps we will truly understand what is at stake in our world today.
This August 6 Foundation website is our way of telling one remarkable Hiroshima atomic bombing survivor’s story. In Hiroshima, in the early morning of August 6, 1945, Tadashi Hasegawa was a 14 year old boy, swimming with a group of his friends when one of them spotted a plane flying overhead. This is the beginning of a harrowing account of his and his family’s survival of the atomic bombing. Tadashi spent his life telling his story to audiences around the world and wrote a book about his experiences surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 2010 called “The Morning of August 6, I Was 14 Years Old”. A few years later we at the August 6 Foundation had it translated into English and published on our site where it is available to all as a free download. His atomic bomb survivor story includes a rarely told eyewitness account of the atomic explosion and a detailed recollection what it looked and felt like. Our site also has video of Tadashi recounting his atomic bomb experiences and many pictures of Hiroshima before and after the atomic bombing.
Tadashi Hasegawa was a humble and pious man who became a Catholic priest so that he might serve God and help soothe people’s suffering. He died in 2012 after a lifetime of battling the physical effects of the atomic bomb. During his life he constantly spoke of his atomic bomb survivor experiences in the hope that it would educate people about the effects of the atomic bomb. He did so without rancor and without blame. Telling the story was enough. We hope to continue his life’s work by doing just that.