A Doctor, a Father, and His Son by Clare Gray

A Doctor, a Father, and His Son by Clare Gray

People can be courageous even in the most difficult times. The protagonist of this story also proves that he has great power. It was a warm August morning. Kenzaburo Oe got off the train. At such an early time, the city was still sleeping. Everything was unusually quiet. On a similar quiet August day, something fatal happened. The first American plane flew over Hiroshima and dropped a lethal bomb. It changed the familiar world forever. Lot of people say that this historical moment brought World War II to the long-awaited end. And it even saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But this bomb killed dozens of thousands of civilians. Even today, after sixty years, humanity feels the consequences of that awful tragedy.

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A Doctor, a Father, and His Son by Clare Gray

People can find courage at the worst times, Oe realized.

Deep inside, he had great strength, too.

Kenzaburo Oe stepped off the train into the warm August air. It was early morning and the city was quiet. Maybe it was a morning like this on August 6, 1945, he thought. On that day, American airplanes flew over Hiroshima and dropped the world’s first atomic bomb. The world was never the same again.

Most people agree that this terrible bomb ended World War II. As a result, many thousands of lives were saved. But the bomb also destroyed thousands of lives in and around Hiroshima on that day. For years, people suffered and died from terrible, painful “A-bomb illnesses.” Even today, sixty years later, people continue to suffer from the results of the A-bomb.

As Oe thought about his son and the terrible history of Hiroshima, he felt sadder and lonelier. How could he ever find hope in this difficult world?

The next morning, Oe walked through Hiroshima’s Peace Park toward the hospital. He wanted to interview the hospital’s boss, Dr. Fumio Shigeto, for the magazine. As he pushed open the hospital doors, he immediately thought of his sick son. He wanted to escape from the clean smell of medicine quickly. But as Oe listened to the doctor’s story, he became more and more interested in the problems of Hiroshima, and the courage of its people.

A Doctor, a Father, and His Son by Clare Gray

On August 6, 1945, young Dr. Shigeto was waiting for a bus to take him to Hiroshima city center. Suddenly there was a bright light and a silent wave of heat. In seconds, the A-bomb destroyed almost everything around it – buildings, trees, cars, and people. Luckily, the doctor was standing next to a strong wall, and he was not burned or killed. But seconds after the bomb, his ears were filled with the screams of people suffering around him. His position seemed helpless. But Dr. Shigeto calmly opened his black doctor’s bag and began helping the person nearest to him.

The problem was much too big for one person, but nothing could stop the doctor. He worked bravely to stop the suffering. He did not rest for two weeks.

On the worst day in Japanese history, Dr. Shigeto did everything possible for the people around him.

As Oe listened to Dr. Shigeto’s story, he began to understand more about true courage. “Every day, a thousand people dead. But… I continued,” the doctor explained. People can find courage at the worst times, Oe realized. Deep inside, he had great strength, too-enough strength to fight for his son’s life…

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