Sunday, August 6, 2017

Those in Glass Houses Should Not Throw Ginkgo Nuts

I grow Ginkgo trees. This is a view of this year's Ginkgo nuts, ready to drop and then off to the cooling off period before potting for next season. Ginkgo trees are ancient, one of the gymnosperms or naked seed plants. Surviving for millions of years, amongst multiple climate changes and assaults. They line the streets of New York because they thrive on pollution. Good friends for humans. I have a few dozen on my land alone.

Now seventy two years ago today my father and his shipmates were in the North Pacific preparing for an invasion of Japan. They were the survivors of the battles at Leyte, Saipan, and other places in the Pacific. They had already been given their winter gear in preparation of the invasion. They knew how bloody Okinawa was and were preparing for even worse.
The above is what they found in Manila. The Japanese did this. Thus they truly feared what they would be up against in the invasion of the islands.

Then late in the day of the 6th of August they heard about Hiroshima. They did not cheer, the cried. For they knew this this was the true beginning of the end and that they would now have a chance of seeing their children.

Thus when revisionist "historians," such as the one in the New York Times, bemoans:

The Hiroshima ginkgos, the tenacious older siblings of the tender green trees in front of our North Carolina house, were able to resist the most devastating outcome of science and technology, the splitting of the atom, a destructive power that could turn the whole planet into rubble. Those trees’ survival was a message of hope in the midst of the black rain of despair: that we could nurture life and conserve it, that we must be wary of the forces we unleash.

They fail to understand that this plant had managed a survival of even greater proportions.  Referring to the Japanese curator who introduced this writer to the tree the author states:

By then middle-aged, his body was a testament to that war crime and its aftermath. One ear was flat and mangled, his hands were gnarled, and from a finger on each grew a black fingernail.

One can vehemently object to the use of the pejorative term, "War crime", as if war itself is not the very crime he detests. The Pacific was strewn with bodies. My uncle was riddled with Japanese machine gun bullets on Okinawa, yet survived, along with his men, and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The devastation on Okinawa was just a prelude to what would have happened on the main islands. I would take umbrage to the term "war crime". Neither the survivors nor the tree deserve such.