This is the day, August 6th,
when history reminds us
the terrorism, the barbarism we’re capable of:
destroying an entire city full of innocent civilians
just to frighten a leader or two.
Lest there be any question,
three days later we’ll do it again.
Not military targets, just shocking.
We’ll justify it,
wrap it in strategy and politics and patriotism,
as if we had no other choice—
but hundreds of thousands will die,
and more will suffer, for a generation,
It’s how we do things.
We firebombed Tokyo in the night of March 9,
killed 100,00, destroyed 16 square miles of city,
and left a million homeless.
We did that to 67 Japanese cities.
Civilian deaths. Sixty-seven entire cities.
We are a great people.
And this, also, is who we are.
We will never escape our own violence
until we confess it.
We will never attain true greatness
without true honesty.
Let this be a day of confession, mourning and humility,
and a day of compassion.
Let us begin to be people of peace.
August 6, 2019