From Charlie’s Facebook page.
Hymn of Gratitude for the Catholic Worker Vol. LXXVII, No. 5 August-September, 2010 price 1 cent (can't find the sign for 'cent' very easily on this computer, sign of the times) these front page headlines: Joseph Takami of Nagasaki Our Lady the Hibakusha plus an excellent review of BOMBING CIVILIANS: A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY. Edited by Yuki Tanaka and Marilyn B. Young. The New Press, New York and London, 2009. Reviewed by Bill Griffin. who titles his review Bombs Do Not Save Lives Here it is 2011 and May 1 coming up Truth & Traditions Party mobilizing people 1 x 1 to bring some sanity each day into politics USA a tar pit full of failing flailing dinosaurs desperate on the very brink of extinction us modest milky warmblooded mammals nipping at their gigantic achilles heels I know the blog box is not set up in a way that favors poets who may be fussy about space, wanting air and the aura of ether around the penumbra of each word, each line, and especially around each unspoken thot. Plodding traditional prose will have to serve.
This issue of the Catholic Worker hits me where I lived on one of the most embarrassing days of my recent life. I was joined by Bill Benzon, Steve Swell, Jon Grusauskas and a boy [Murray Rosenbaum] who joined in to play trumpet; a bare minimum brass band, but reinforced throughout a peace procession headed toward the UN, by thousands of Japanese and Korean visitors to our country. Most of them had come all the way from Asia to support the idea of nuclear disarmament and “the opening of a four-week UN conference on nuclear non-proliferation.” The visitors outnumbered their American hosts 2 to 1? 5 to 1? There were way more visitors (and way more motivated) than there were of us hosts.
I still feel ashamed: that we didn’t have a bigger band there; and more bands; and stirring songs and chants to boost our visitors’ spirits. Is there a single chant besides “no nukes”? Is there a singable song about non-proliferation? An American lament for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Our Lady the Hibakusha by Brian Terrell tells the story of Archbishop Takami’s gift:
The Archbishop had brought with him to New York all that was left of a full scale statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, found in the rubble of Nagasaki’s Urakami (Immaculate Conception) Cathedral after that city was destroyed by an atom bomb on August 9, 1945.
The razing of the cathedral was not ‘collateral damage.’ Its towers, in fact, were the landmark that the bombardier of the B-29 bomber carrying the second atom bomb to Japan was briefed on. Looking through his sight, when the cathedral was identified the order was given to drop the bomb. Nagasaki had been a center of Christian life in Japan since St. Francis Xavier established a mission there in 1549. At times this community flourished and other times it survived suppression and persecution. Nagasaki was the largest concentration of Christians in Asia and in a few seconds it was obliterated by Christians from the US.
True facts brought to you by very tradition-minded Catholic pacifists whose movement started in the 1930s and continues to this day. Please drop a note toThe Catholic Worker
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New York, N.Y. 10003.
A subscription is 25 cents yearly, and you will receive more truth sustained by a vital tradition in 8 pages than you will ever get from a $2 copy of the N.Y. Times which chose not to say a word about the 1000s of passionate peace demonstrators who came to New York from Japan, Korea and many other countries around the world. More shame that these witnesses for peace were not witnessed by one of our countries “leading” newspapers.