"No more wars" Hiroshima bomb survivor pleads, on anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack
A Kaneohe woman is among a small group of Hawaii residents who know firsthand the devastation of a nuclear bomb. Mitsuko Heidtke lived through the bombing of Hiroshima. She is now watching closely while Hawaii prepares for a possible North Korea nuclear attack. Very often, in the quiet moments of the day, 85 year old Mitsuko Heidtke thinks about a time long ago and a place far away.
KANEOHE, Hawaii - The anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is a sad time for many, including a Kaneohe woman who directly experienced the horrors of World War II. Eight five year old Mitsuko Heidtke was just a girl living in Hiroshima when the atom bomb exploded - killing her mother, many of her friends, and changing her life forever.
Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 would come to affect this little girl three and a half years later, when in retaliation, the US would drop an atmoic bomb on her hometown of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The girl was Mitsuko Heidtke, and she was 12 years old in 1945.
She remembers she was in the middle of a group of students on a train going to school, when they saw the flash then heard the boom. The train halted. Heidtke's classmate, standing by the window, turned to her. "She said my arms are sore. We look. It's all peeling, burned," Heidtke relates.
The students were on the outskirts of Hiroshima, which saved their life. As they all walked back to town, they asked blast victims what happened. "Do you know what happen to that place?" the students queried. "'Fire, all fire.'" is what the victims told them.
Heidtke says more people should learn the history of World War II, and remember the most important lesson: War is suffering, and we should avoid it at all costs. "I feel bad. I go visit Pearl Harbor. I'm not the one who bombed them but I feel so bad," Heidtke expresses.
Heidtke and her family talk about current events. "Quite often, especially nowadays I see the TV about North Korea. We may get hit in Hawaii."
She knows more than most about the horrors of war, and says a silent prayer that on this day, we learn from those losses. "I just don't want nothing like that evil things happen, for the people.""No more wars" Hiroshima bomb survivor pleads, on anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack.