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Messages from Nagasaki

Japanese version

Mitoe Matsumoto (female)
'Chokubaku'  2.1 km from the hypocenter / 3 years old at the time / current resident of Nagasaki

When the A-bomb was dropped, I was 3 years 4 months old and can only vaguely remember the pre and post happenings. However, the strength of the orange colored light that flashed when the A-bomb was dropped is still fresh in my memory even now, 60 years later. At that time, whether or not my young mind realized the emergency, I was always tense and seemed to have worried my grandmother and my mother by repeatedly saying "Pee." I was scared of the sound of a siren and the roar of an airplane at that time and I'm scared of these even now.

I lost two aunts. It's said that one aunt was killed directly by the bomb blast and not a bone was left behind. My mother picked up some half-burned hair and a lunchbox at the site, and though she didn't know whom they belonged to, she buried the items in the family graveyard. It was sad to see my grandmother grieving over her youngest 22-year-old daughter who had not returned, and kept hoping her daughter would surely come back someday. In the depths of my heart, I too hoped my favorite aunts would return unexpectedly someday.

I would like young people to fully support the present war-renouncing Constitution of Japan. And, I want them to spread awareness about this Constitution around the world. I am very glad that, for the past several years, high school students have been voluntarily campaigning to collect 10,000 signatures from their fellow students. I am signing the campaign intended for the general public every year, and I truly admire these students. After graduating from high school, these students have continued to have an influence both in their universities and in society. The circle seems to be expanding steadily. I hope the circle will expand all over the world, and that nuclear weapons will never be used again any time in the future.