What have we learned in 70 years?

Above is the memorial monument in the Hiroshima Peace Park. Today marks the 69th anniversary of the bombing. The stone marker says “Rest in peace, for the mistake will never be repeated.”

Below is Guernica, one of Picasso’s most famous works, which explores the tragedy of another bombing.

 

I wanted to see this painting again after reading this very moving article about yet another bombing, in London in 1944.

“Life Under Air Strikes: Children Under Fire Will Never Forget — or Forgive”

This paragraph about the painting could be describing the bombing of Hiroshima as well:

“The canvas was almost audible in its expression of grief and pain, a screaming woman with a dead child in her arms, a horse’s head howling, other writhing figures staring upward beyond the frame of the canvas to the unseen reapers, aloof from the consequences of their actions. It was the equivalent in paint of a requiem Mass. The method of killing was new, and Picasso had found a medium appropriate to the scale and innovation of the crime.”

And this, in the final paragraph:

“Forgetting is impossible. Forgiving is a lifelong struggle to manage memory in a way that retains the details of a personal trauma while allowing remembrance to mellow into a more considered, rational and conciliatory emotion.”

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