Grandpa Helped Invent the Bomb and I Learned to Walk
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the United States dropping the first atomic bomb used for warfare, on Hiroshima, Japan, followed three days later by another one dropped on Nagasaki. For most people today, this is history. For me, every year August 6 has a deeper, more personal meaning.
My maternal grandfather was a mathematical physicist, and he was asked by the government to go to Los Alamos and work on the bomb. He went, along with my grandmother, my mother, and me. I was very young, not yet walking .My grandmother mostly took care of me, while my mother had a secretarial-type job.
I don't know how long we stayed, but I learned to walk and to run there. I have early memories of going for walks with Grandpa and running away from him. He would let me go a little ways and then come and catch me.
As I grew up and learned more about the effects of the bombs on Japan, I was horrified that my kind Grandpa had been involved in something with such awful results. Once, when I was a teenager, I asked him why he had done it. He told me that before the war he had been in communication with some Japanese scientists, and he thought they knew enough to invent the bomb themselves. So he saw it as a defensive measure.
I still find it all terribly sad. But that's war for you. Sad, no matter what else can be said