Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor: ‘Boom. Boom. Gone. All gone.’
Haruko Lewis, now 88, takes just seven words to describe the atomic bomb that dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima, Japan, when she was 18: “Boom-boom-pop. Houses? Bah, bah. Gone. Gone.”
A stroke last year ago has forced Haruko to talk in single words. But those rocky syllables outline the jagged effects of the nuclear fission that radiated from the collision of two chunks of enriched uranium in the heart of Little Boy, the first atomic bomb unleashed on the world.
“Houses, bah, bah, bah,” Haruko repeats, motioning with her good arm to show how shock waves flattened houses one by one by one. She glances at her son, James, nodding for confirmation from the serenity of their home in Harvest, Ala.
“Hiroshima. So beautiful. All gone. Gone. Dead.”