By Nataliya Gudziy
Over 60 years ago on this day, August 6 a tragedy occurred in Hiroshima. Like the tragedy that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the tragedy which struck in Chernobyl over 20 years ago is still not over. The nuclear power plant at Chernobyl experienced a meltdown 22 years ago.
I was 6 years old at the time. Since my father worked at the plant, all of us family lived a mere 3.5 km from the plant. The accident happened in the middle of the night so most people were unaware that anything serious had occurred. For that reason, life went on as normal the following day. Children went to school and mothers took their young children out to play outside the whole day. As a result, they were exposed all day to invisible radiation.
We werent informed of the accident until the next day. We were told not to worry as it was not a serious accident, but that to be on the safe side, evacuate. No need to take your suitcases, we were told, just evacuate the city for 3 days. So we did as we were told and left the city without packing our bags. Nonetheless, we didnt return in 3 days, a month, or 20 years.
The forests we children had played in every day as well as the houses full of memories were destroyed by the radiation and buried in the dirt. Today nothing remains. What was once a vibrant city is now dead. We didnt just lose our beautiful hometown in that horrific accident, but many people also died. Many of my friends have died. Just kids at the time, many of us have grown up, married, and have kids of our own, some of whose health has been adversely affected.
Mankind has forgotten and is making the same mistakes over again. Dont forget these tragedies. Dont make the same mistakes. With this hope in mind, I will sing this lovely and meaningful song for you. “Itsumo, nando-demo (Always With Me)”.