North Carolina Newspapers

    Bomb Brought Peace
Thte Artlda Was Placed In The Coettal Observer On Aug. 22nd
Wednesday, August 14th, was
the 40th anniversary of the day
the Japanese accepted surrender
terms which ended World War II.
It was Victory over Japan--VJ
Day.
The first I heard of the anniver
sary was a two-minute CNN
feature that morning.
The week before was the 40th
anniversary of the Hiroshima and
Nagasaki tembings. Newspapers
and television brimmed over with
anxiety-filled, breast-beating
melancholy commentary on the
event.
The MacNeil-Lehrer News
Hour, a program I respect for its
usually in-depth, thoughtful non-
sensational journalism, devoted
45 minutes of its Aug. 6 program
to discussing the meaning of
Hiroshima.
This newspaper ran a photo of a
symbolic “nuclear shadow” on its
frotn page. Other “nuclear
shadows” were painted and
publicized across the country.
Without the bomb, VJ Day
almost certainly would not have
come so soon. It could have come
after a bloody, brutal invasion of
Japan in which uncounted
numbers of Japanese civilians
and American servicemen might
have died-many more died in the
bombings.
Why would two events so close
ly connected be treated so dif
ferently?
Both of these things happened
before I was bom. But I have
tried to be a student of history,
and I see three events that chang
ed Americans’ attitudes about
themselves and their country.
The first event was the bomb
itself.
World War II and the atomic
bomb changed the way people
think about war. Before World
War II and the bomb, wars were
horrible for the people in wamng
countries, but the rest of the
world went about its business.
Woodrow Wilson was re-elected
on the slogan, “He Kept Us Out
of War.” World War I was
perceived as Europe's war, and
the United States stayed out of it
until 1917.
But World War II was truly a
global war. Armies, tanks, bat
tleships and airplanes went near
ly everywhere in the world.
Besides this, the destruction of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki was so
complete and devastating that it
rais^ the specter of destruction
of the whole planet. War could
now go anywhere and wipe out
life everywhere.
After the no-win Korean "War”
c-ame the second event: Vietnam.
For the first time in our history,
our motives for going into combat
were unclear. Many Americans
felt politicians were sending
young men to die in a faraway
country without explaining why.
College students who would
have had to serve protested and
rebelled, bitterly outraged.
Soldiers who served came home
without thanks or acclaim, bitter
ly disillusioned.
Vietnam wounded the nation as
well as the soldiers.
One has only to look at reaction
to events in Central America to
see that Americans do not want
another Vietnam.
The third event was the
Watergate scandal.
It appeared that the President
of the United States was involved
in break-ins, wiretaps, buggings
and other “dirty tricks.” Nixon
told us, “I am not a crook,” and
later resigned because he could
not make us believe it.
We no longer felt we could trust
our leaders as fully as we had
before. Jimmy Carter spoke sadly
of a “crisis of confidence” in his
administration, but it dit not
begin nor end with him.
I feel the reason Hiroshima was
emphasized over VJ Day was
that many Americans feel disillu
sioned about themselves and
their institutions. We like to see
ourselves as “good guys”
dedicated to the lofty principles
By The Courtesy Of
Neil Leslie,
We Wish To Share
His Work.
expressed in our founding
documents.
The “feel good, make America
strong again” psychology got
Reagan re-elected by a landslide,
but when we fail to keep these
high stimdards and see cruelty
and corruption in our system, we
are disappointed in ourselves. We
are more ready to dwell on the
bad we have done than the good.
But we have done good, and
that is worth remembering.
In World War II Americans op
posed an evil Nazi regime which
methodically murdered six
million human beings after
systematically striping them of
all human dignity.
In World War II Americans op
posed a militaristic Japanese
govenmient which plaimed a sur
prise attack.
I think Americans today are
rightly concerned about our
nuclear and foreign policy. The
ghosts of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki haunt us all. But
perhaps those ghosts are the very
things that have given us 40
years without another mushroom
cloud over our heads.
That is peace of a sort, I
suppose--a peace that began on
VJDay.
New Advancement For Library Security
Would anyone ever install
something that looked like it was
working but it actually was only
faking? Perhaps the Great Maker
would in relation to my mental
functioning but usually the
answer is no, not in this practical
era. This answer also applies to
the new electronic book-monitor
newly installed in our library. It
does work. Sources say its alarm
has been triggered even when so
meone forgets to check out a book
and unknowingly begins to walk
out with it. The ^arm will catch a
person attemping to stroll out
with a book while holding the
volume above his-her head. The
system is almost infallible and
could be infallible with a little
help from students.
As for being cost effective, the
four year lease the library has on
this 9,635 dollar object will pay
for itself in two years, by saving
350 to 370 books a year at a cost
of 5,000 to 7,000 dollars annually.
Methodist College installed one of
these recently and its book losses
went from 400 per year to 35. The
system is also more convenient
than the old way of stopping and
having someone peer into your
satchel for misplaced library
books, on your way out the door.
The Lance also questioned
library director, Mrs. Betty
Holmes about the reduction in
hours newly inplaced this year.
She said, “the library wants bet
ter service for everybody on cam
pus.” With these new hours the
library can have staff members
available for every hour the
library is open. This is also due to
the fact that only 2 percent of the
student body utilized the library
last year after 10 PM. The library
now stays open 78 hours a week.
This is average for small college
libraries.
Mrs. Hohnes also made note
that the "library is a service to
the campus.” Students need to of
fer suggesgtions to the library
staff whenever necessary. This
lets them do a more thorough jfc
in helping students. But students
also need to help the library staff
by remembering to bring their
student ID’s when they want to
check out materials.
Mrs. Holmes would not disclose
how the machine works and we
are open to interpretations on this
subject. Here is one offered by so
meone who wishes anonymity for
f^ pf reprisal or sonjet^pg to
that effect.
The electronic sensor they put
at the library door does not
monitor for stolen books, it
checks for guilty consciences. But
technology is faulty and this box
does not know how to monitor
just your mind. It is forced to
take your whole body into the box
and spit it back out right before
ByChipCannical
you reach the grocery store door,
that opens when it feels your
presence. I know the machine
works this way. I stole a fantasy
before leaving and I got caught
and was asked to return it.
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