Hiroshima pilot becomes peace advocate

The World

In an open photo album on Dick Sherwood’s coffee table, there are pictures of Sherwood from 1945 in his Army uniform. Today Sherwood is 84 and he’s never forgotten what he saw: a ring of fire on the outside and the rest completely burnt out. He flew just 150-200 feet above ground just a half-hour after the atomic blast of Ground Zero to protect his eyes. He was told to steer clear of the plume of smoke and take pictures and assess the damage of the rest. One question still haunts him: why? Other airmen were relieved and hailed as heroes for their actions in Japan in World War II, but the events of Hiroshima haunted Sherwood his entire life. He has tried to devote himself to humanitarian causes and the peace movement to distract himself. He was invited to participate in a historic memory of the bombing in Japan. Still returning to Hiroshima gave Sherwood a sense of closure, says his son, who believes he’ll never completely be at peace with the event. But still another chance for healing came this week through a song when a former mayor of Hiroshima traveled through Salt Lake City to celebrate a song by a local peace activist. Dick Sherwood heard a speech from the former mayor in Japan and is excited to meet him now in the U.S. Sherwood seems profoundly grateful to hear the words of the former mayor.

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