Maile, As a 14-year-old in 1985: On the 40th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

Updated 4/1/15

Address of Maile Shimabukuro on the Occasion of the Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

Maile in 1985. Click image to enlarge.
Maile in 1985. Click image to enlarge.

August 5, 1985, Honolulu, Hale

Maile 1985-2AGood afternoon. My name is Maile and I’m 14 years old. When I was asked to do a speech about Hiroshima, my first reaction was, Why me? I mean, I’m only 14 and who’s going to listen to a kid? And besides, I don’t know much about Nuclear War. Except that it kills people, and can destroy entire cities. I don’t like to think about that. It scares me. I don’t want to die. I don’t want our beautiful world to be destroyed. Especially the beaches, and the mountains, and the parks, and all the animals, and the people. Especially the people.

If my family was killed, I would have nowhere to go and no one to love. I would have no home, no security.

Or if I became handicapped. I would never be able to live my life in the way that I had before. I would experience what children in Hiroshima did when we bombed them.

Maile 1985-3

I guess I know quite a bit about Nuclear War. Enough to speak out against it, and I feel my generation, especially, must do everything we can to put an end to the use of Nuclear Weapons so that the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never be repeated.

My only hope is that you people will listen to me and other kids my age. We have feelings about Nuclear War, too,

Maile Shimabukuro
87-2150-6 Helelua Place
Waianae, HI 96792
A great big mahalo to John Witeck, a family friend of Senator Shimabukuro, who saved the speech and photo and shared it recently, and to Colleen Teramae, the senator’s office manager and first cousin, who brought it to our attention.

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