“God, forgive us.” (Kami wa yurushita mō.)~ what pegman saw…


Yokoamichi Park, Tokyo, Japan. The clumps of metal were once things like cars, trucks, etc.

Sitting on her Grandpa’s lap, she stared at the pictures in his scrapbook of the war. It didn’t make sense to her why people would kill people that way, or any way, really. Still, she sat and listened to him tell her the story of how they flew over Tokyo and dropped bombs that caused great fires. The fires were so hot they melted cars, and people. It was beyond her six year old mind to comprehend.

I felt moisture on my cheek and looked up. My Grandpa, my hero, was crying. I cuddled as close as I could get.

‘We did what we had to do, but God forgive us.’ He choked out.


Charred body of woman carrying child on back. March 10, 1945

神は許したもう。(Kami wa yurushita mō.)


Over 85,000 Japanese Civilians were killed as “collateral damage” during WWII. Photo: 10 March 1945 of civilians killed by fire bombs.

Wc: 114

Author’s Note:

I dedicate this weeks’ story to the people of Japan. May you know that some of us have not forgotten your people or the horrors of that long ago war. May you know that my Grandpa regretted his actions in war everyday of his life.

Although I’ve borrowed pictures from modern archives for this entry to “What Pegman Saw”, the story itself is based on actual experience. My Grandpa fought in world war II as did many of my family members. They didn’t speak often of that time, save on Memorial Day, when Grandpa, or one of the uncles, would bring out their scrapbooks/journals and share about the horrors of war. They kept these memories alive for us who had never known war so that we would remember and not be as likely to take our freedom for granted, or to go into the service and war blindly. History, in our house wasn’t just told, it was lived!


This adventure was begun with the writing challenge at “What Pegman Saw” that can be found at: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/02/18/tokyo/  . Pegman takes us, via google maps, to a different location in the world every week. If you’ve enjoyed this little story, please follow the link  and through the magic blue frog portal to other stories, or submit one of your own.


13 thoughts on ““God, forgive us.” (Kami wa yurushita mō.)~ what pegman saw…

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