Grandpa Helped Invent the Bomb and I Learned to Walk

Last Update: August 06, 2020

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

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Linda103 Premium
My father was at one of the tests of the H bomb from the UK. All the senior RAF people were in a concrete bunker, while all the more junior people were out in the open and just told to turn their backs.
He died from cancer 10 years ago.
They were and are horrifying weapons.
megawinner Premium
Hi. He was asked to help the country. He was there with all the good intentions of saving and defending the motherland. There is only pride and honor. Albert Einstein convinced the US government to build an atomic bomb. After the bombing he said he was sorry the bomb was ever created he saw how horrible it was. I saw the video of the explosion in Beirut it sure looked like the atomic bomb explosion. Your father would feel the same. but that was war. Thisis the world we live in, we spend more money on arms and bomb rather than giving that money instead for the poor and the hungry. Have a great day. Stay safe and beautiful.
zydegeaux Premium
You should be proud of your grandpa. He helped to end the war. In an invasion of Japan its estimated that 500,000 Americans and allied forces would die as well as over a million Japanese. He saved not only American lives but Japanese as well.

The Japanese got what they deserved. Read about the Rape of Nanking. Japanese soldiers were throwing Chinese babies in the air and catching them on their bayonets and laughing about it. That's only one of the atrocities performed by them.

And to think the Germans get all the blame. The Japanese were just as bad, just not as systemmatic about it.
JeffreyBrown Premium
Very true, Rosana! Nevertheless, I enjoyed the story and post!

kpercival55 Premium
What an interesting historical story!
I think many intelligent people who have worked on government projects have no way to imagine the so called “collateral damage” the outcomes will produce.
Your grandfather was right, if we hadn’t been the first the world could be a very different and much worse place to live.
Blessings to you,