Death and Resurrection of Hiroshima
by Jane Smith Bernhardt

Talk Presented at the Old South Church
Copley Square, Boylston Street, Boston MA
August 7, 2005

   We stand within this great and beautiful symbol of resurrection:
the power of unseen God to transform the blackest of our imaginings - the deepest of our deaths - into new life.
   And we hold here the memorial to Hiroshima - the first A-bomb genocide
    ... its 60th anniversary.

     What can we say of Hiroshima?  We must look to the Hibakusha -
the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - many of whom have dedicated the
balance of their lives to delivering one message: Never again.
   Never again this genocide which mocks our darkest nightmares of inhumanity.

     Have we heard the voices of the Hibakusha - those who have returned from the land of the unthinkable, to teach us?
   No: we have not.  We have not learned.  We have resisted the resurrection
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The voices still cry out from two hundred thousand graves:  Listen.

     I am the daughter of a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  I hold in my hand a piece of the wreckage of a Japanese suicide bomber that almost sank my father's destroyer in the Pacific.
 I know that for us Americans this is no simple journey....

     But what choice do we have -- we who now threaten the world with an unimaginable arsenal of genocide,
poised for attack from land, sea, air and - soon enough - from outer space? 

     What choice do we have but to come into this sanctuary of forgiveness and resurrection ... to open our hearts at last ...
to listen and to learn?