From the huge shipyards to the thousands of [WORD ILLEGIBLE] homes on the surrounding hill [WORD ILLEGIBLE] ,this city's physical recovery [WORD ILLEGIBLE] nuclear devastation 32 years ago day is an inspiring triumph of human will. In the physician's phrase, everything possible has been done. Yet a city is more than steel and street cars, and the people of Nagasaki still suffer physical after-effects [WORD ILLEGIBLE] .
Can a city whose center flamed, within living memory, like the end of the world, whose people pass ground zero on their way to work and school, ever again be normal?
The answer, arrived at in two days of interviews with Nagasaki citizens, is no - it cannot, nor should it be.
The first and so far only plutonium bomb used against human beings killed approximately 75,000 people here on Aug, 9, 1945, and cast a lifelong shadow over the 75,000 survivors.
Soon to re-enter the city's A-bomb hospital, businessman Yasuo Ishida, 55, said: "We have suffered so much. The only reason to survive is to make sure we are the last people in the world to be A-bombed."
Taxi driver Yukio Ejima was 6 years old when the bomb fell. He went to an aid station with his father the next day: "I only could stay 10 minutes," he said. "I saw so many burned people. They died very quickly. It was terrible to see. Those are sights I can never forget."
At 11:02 a.m. today the city fell silent for a commemorative minute.Ship sirens wailed in the harbor and church bells blended in mournful harmony. Looking up from the peace park that lies at the point of the explosion's epicenter, one could glimpse blue skies through fleecy clouds. Looking down, 32 years ago, B-29 bombardier Kermit Beahan glimpsed the Mitsubishi Co's Nagasaki arms factory and released the 10,000 pound, plutonium-core bomb nicknamed Fat man for its bulbous profile.
At 1,500 feet the bomb exploded with the force of 20,000 tons of TNT - not much by modern weapons standards, but enough to char every man, woman and child within a radius of 1,000 yards.
Nagasaki, the second city to die in a nuclear holocaust, has never received the amount of international attention that has been given to hiroshima, which was bombed three days earlier. The B-29 "Enola Gay," which rained ruin on Hiroshima, is famous, yet how many know that "Bock's Car" was the name of the B-29 that brought doomsday to Nagasaki?
Tired of having this city favored Nagasaki citizens are becoming more assertive.
Quaker pacifist Barbara Reynolds, who has studied both cities for the last 30 years, noted some change. "They used to talk about "angry Hiroshima' and 'praying Nagasaki,' but now it's becoming the other way round," she said. "TThe people here are showing less forbearance. They want their lesson known."
Nagasaki was a military target because it was major port and weapons manufacturing center. Ironically, it was also one of Japan's most beautiful cities and, after Tokyo, its most cosmopolitan. As a gateway for trading with the West for more than 400 years it remained accessible to foreign countries even during the 200 years of Japan's self-enforced isolation. Norman Cousins once wrote: "It has pioneered in everything the West has had to offer, all the way from fine art to explosive plutonium."
he first Chirstians landed here in about 1550, and their evangelism was successful. In 1975, a B-29 that was sent on its way with a chaplain's prayer and the invocation of the Christian God, leveled the largest Catholic catherdral in the Far East and killed 6,000 Catholic.
When the Japanese rejected the July 1945 Postdam Declaration calling for their immeidate surrender, President Truman gave the order to use the atomic bomb. U.S. strategists estimated that the alternative - invasion of the main islands of Japan - would cost a million American casualties.
Tokyo war leaders disagreed violently over whether to surrender, but in the end they doing. Truman's warning of "a rain of ruin the like of which has never been seen on this earth." American planes dropped warning leaflets on Nagasaki. Then came the bomb.
Increasingly this background is being forgotten and Nagasaki citizens see themselves as victims of a simple atrocity.
With his teachers' approval, 11-year old Matsuo Kazuki told classmates today: "There was a loud noise and light and many people were dead. Why did innocent people have to be killed by atomic bomb?"
A report by 40 medical experts submitted to an international symposium on atomic weapons here yesterday even suggests that the plutonium on atomic weapons here yesterday even suggests that the plutonium on atomic weapons here yesterday even suggests that the plutonium bomb was dropped mainly to compare its effect with that of the uranium bomb used at Hiroshima. Barbara Reynolds believes this is so. "There's no doubt the second atomic bomb was experimental" she said. "I think that's why we didn't like to look at Nagasaki too much."
Though the United States was not attacked by name at the official commemorations, Hamilton Shirley Amerashinghe of Sri Lanka, president of the United Nations General Assembly, came close to it. He called the nuclear attack 'a horrifying experiment . . . an unqualified success for science (that) was an unmitigated disaster for humanity."
Amerasinghe voiced a feeling prevalent in Nagasaki when he reffered to the neutron bomb, the newest nuclear weapon, "the most recent abominations." University sophomore Kyoko Sueyoshi, 18, told visitors: "People in Nagasaki have special knowledge of these things . . . I think it's very bad President Carter is going ahead with the neutron bomb."
The Nagasaki explosion is documented with harrowing detail in three floors of the city's atomic museum. The tone is accusatory, designed to shock, and only conscience prods the visitor into completing the round of exhibits. A helmet with portions of skull visible, partly melted watches stopped at 11:02, a grisly still-life incorporating the bones of a human hand in a mass of bottles melted by the immense heat - all searing reminders that Nagasaki has actually lived the world's nightmare.
The windows show the city restored and prosperous. Pictures alongside them bring back the sea of fire and the people's despair. Outside, crickets chant. Inside, death commemorated reigns. A European woman turns pale and steps out to the balcony. The warm breeze from the sea cannot dispel the chill. Physiology is confounded. The body sweats and raises gooseflesh.
The dead and the dying are passing into history, but the pain and ourtrage of their experience live on in the atomic art and photographs in Nagasaki. The Auschwitzian horror scenes are vivid even when painted by rank amateurs. The disfigurements of the victims are unsparingly recorded in photographs that assault the senses.
The hills that were blackened, naked and smouldering after the explosion are clothed in dense foliage. Similarly the 75,000 survivors have melted into the city's present population of 460,000 and scars and injuries generally go unnoticed. All survivors are registered as atomic bomb victims and their annual health examinations are noted on yellow identification cards. Last year, 2,500 persons were admitted to the A-bomb hospital for treatment.
The survivors share a common fear - That the radiation dosage they received 32 years ago will cause leukemia or another form of cancer "They still have strong psychological damage," said Dr. Shigeru Masuya. "They are constantly worried about the fiture - that atomic sickness will reappear."
The class of 1977 at the Shiroshima Yama primary school stood in rows for a special service this morning - Several hundred healthy boys and girls. The survivors of the class of 1945 sat behind them in about 40 chairs. The school near the city center was destroyed in the blast and of the 1500 students, only 100 survived.
Shiyoko Degashirea, 67, one of two explosion survivors among the school's 28 eachers, typifies as well as anyone the spirit fo Nagasaki's recovery. When she came to in the rubble, her body was punctured with thousands of glass fragments that are still working their wa yout. Forty of her 46 students were dead, as were her mother, husband and four of her children. CAPTION:
Picture 1, Nagasaki bomb victim Chieko Watanabe calls for nuclear weapons ban. UPI; Picture 2, The people of Nagasaki observe the 32nd anniversary of the city's destruction by an atomic bomb. UPI