Sunday, July 17, 2005

How low can you go?

One-fourth of Sasamori's body was burned. Her fingers were scorched to the bone, and she had as many as 30 operations to repair the damage. Three years ago, she underwent surgery for intestinal cancer. Doctors now suspect she has thyroid cancer.

Sasamori was one of 25 "Hiroshima Maidens" brought to the United States for reconstructive surgery in 1955 by American editor and author Norman Cousins, who she describes as her adoptive father. She eventually settled in the U.S. and became a nurse.

Sasamori, who now lives in Marina del Rey, Calif., said she is not angry with Americans for how World War II ended, but hates war itself and is saddened by the actions of those who made the bomb.

But she was upset about a $125-per-ticket event at the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque on Friday.

Participants were given a secret identity at the door of the museum, a gimmick meant to recall the top-secret project to develop the bomb. Guests were treated to food, a cash bar, a 1940s fashion show, slides of the Trinity test and a panel discussion by historians and test participants. On Saturday, they were taken to the test site in southern New Mexico for a tour.

"Many people are dead. Those people's souls aren't happy. Why are you celebrating?" Sasamori said. "You are making a weapon to kill us. So, I feel that's not appropriate to celebrate."
The AP story did not say how many of these good people laughed when they heard what she said.


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