In August 1945, the United States detonated two atominc bombs – over Hiroshima on 6 August, and over Nagasaki on 9 August – having already obtained the agreement of the United Kingdom.
These two terrible events killed somewhere between 129,000 and 226,000 people. In an instant, lives were ended as people were vapourised by the two blasts; and for years to come, so many more would live with terrible injuries, which ultimately killed thousands more.
Just think about that for a moment.
To achieve ‘peace’, many thousands were killed.
These events are a reminder – even now, 75 years later – that peace is a very fragile thing, something we can lose so easily.
They are also a reminder that peace simply cannot be achieved in this way – in the intervening years, the world has not enjoyed true peace and there have been numerous wars in many places, with the resultant death this always brings in its wake.
True peace is something quite different.
Speaking during Her third appearance at Fatima, on 13 July 1917, the Mother of God told us what obtains true peace –
“Continue to pray the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you”.
Peace, then, is not really something we achieve, even if it might be something we need to work toward achieving. Rather, it is a gift from God, entrusted to the one whom the Church calls the ‘Queen of Peace’. If we seek true peace, lasting peace, real peace, then we need to do as She has asked – amend our lives, stop offending God and pray.
The alternative to that true peace is too awful to imagine – although we don’t really need to imagine, we only need to think back 75 years.