Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A widow begs you...

Alice Roberts speaking on MSNBC


Alice Roberts lost her husband, age 45, to Covid-19 in May.

He was a police officer and father of her three kids.

She's now pleading with people: Vote!  And vote against Trump.  

In an opinion piece on NJ.com, she tells her family's story.  Initially she didn't blame Donald Trump.

But in September after surviving Covid-19 with the best medical help in the world, the president made light of the virus's effect on others.  That angers Alice.  

She writes:

After catching COVID-19 that required a brief stay in the hospital, President Trump blithely said, “Don’t let it take over your lives.” 

Except that the coronavirus had already changed her life forever.  

It has already killed 220,000 Americans.  It took over their lives and changed their families... while he was underplaying it and telling people not to wear masks.

Vote him out!  

"He has a reckless disregard for human life," said Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris at a rally in Milwaukee, quoting a statute in the California Criminal Code.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

50 Shades of Scary

Black Bear Pass near Ingram Falls
Telluride CO 3,000 ft. below

So you think this presidential election is scary.  

You think Halloween is nothing compared to a government that flaunts its Covid bravado.

You feel a knot in your stomach when the president can't denounce QAnon or the Cutiepie Boys (I won't even repeat the real name of these thugs). 

You cringe when it takes several tries to get dt to say anything faintly against white supremacy.

Well, to cheer you up and distract you from these national horrors, let's take a Jeep ride.

First let's look at the cliff where a Jeep Wrangler fell off a popular road past spectacular waterfalls near Telluride, Colorado. 

Then read about the accident on Saturday, Oct. 10, as recorded by BleepinJeep.  

Then watch this half-hour YouTube video about a hailstorm and rockslides on this road on August 24, 2020.

See, you got your mind off the election for maybe 30 minutes or an hour.  

Friday, October 9, 2020

Voting from Assisted Living

My second cousin Deb with her grandmother,
Allene Winkfield Pera, now 105 years old.

 "Come hell or high water, I'm going to vote," says Annamarie Eggert, who is 94 years old and in precarious health.

For my friend Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, her two dying wishes were returning home from the hospital and making sure her mail-in ballot got mailed.  As soon as mail-in ballots were available, her caregiver with power of attorney drove to Morristown, New Jersey, picked up the ballot, voted it, and returned to report to Virginia that her votes were cast.  Virginia smiled with relief and died the next day, four months before her 89th birthday.

I'm not sure whether my family's oldest member, Allene Winkfield Pera (at right) will be able to vote this year.  She recently turned 105 and lives in Durango in an assisted living facility.  Covid-19 restrictions make it harder for her daughter to get her a mail-in ballot and return it.

Thank you to Katie Hafner of the New York Times for her report, "These Americans Are Determined to Cast a Last Ballot before Dying."  She writes,

In this most contentious of elections, in which the very act of voting has come under fierce national debate, the determination of many very old, ill and infirm Americans to cast what could be their last vote is profound.  

Though aware that they might not live long enough to be affected by the results, they say they are voting for children, grandchildren and their future — a final heartfelt, empowering act as American citizens.

Two days ago Eggert filled out her ballot for Joe Biden and for Sara Gideon, the Democratic nominee running against Senator Susan Collins.  A friend drove her to the city hall of York, Maine, to place her vote into the ballot drop box.

Hafner also spoke with Harriet Fefernan, born in 1920, the year women first won the right to vote. She cast her first presidential vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt.  

Kent Neff, 81, in Sisters, Oregon, said, "If I were going to die next week, voting would still be very high on my list."  Judy Welles, a retired pastor in Portland with terminal cancer, took time to write 15 postcards to voters in Pennsylvania, her former home.

“I’m not afraid to play the death card," she told Hafner.  "If that’s going to impress somebody into voting, that would be great.”

Cheers for Feminists in their 80s...


We have now lost Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, two of my favorite feminists in their 80s.  Gloria Steinem, b. 1934, and my friend Letha Dawson Scanzoni, b. 1935, remain. 

Born in 1933, Ruth was a year younger than Virginia, born in 1932.  Ruth died on September 18, then Virginia on Sept. 25.  In this 2015 photo (right) from a NYT interview, Ruth and Gloria discuss the long battle for women's rights.

My friend Letha Dawson Scanzoni, author of books on Christian feminism and on same-sex marriage blessed by God, celebrates her 85th birthday today, October 9. 

These women are irreplaceable.  Their courage and leadership changed the world.

They were born into a world where white women had been able to vote for only 12-16 years, and most black women and men encountered voter suppression if they tried to vote.  

Most women didn't have access to birth control, yet the nation was in the midst of the Great Depression.  Desperately poor women resorted to DIY abortions, like the ones described in Ch. 14 of my book, Abortion--My Choice, God's Grace.  

Each of these four women had only one sibling.  The parents of both Ruth and Virginia sent their son to college but not their daughter.  The girl child had to fight and work for the opportunity to get higher education.  Gloria was one of two girls, and Letha had just one brother.

Thank you to each of these four women.  You gave me the rights that I sometimes take for granted.  

Letha and Virginia gave me confidence that God wants equality for women and men, that Jesus and even the apostle Paul did not separate gender roles into men's and women's categories. "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all are one in Christ Jesus" (Letter to the Galatians 3:28)

Ruth and Gloria gave me the news that women and men are not treated equally in societies today, that we need to work for change.  That news changed my life.

"When you catch it, you get better"

when you catch it, you get better says the president.

Will these words be engraved on his tombstone?

Why can't he express sympathy for the families of the 212,000 who have died?

Has he forgotten Dr. Herman Cain, who faithfully attended his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma,  on June 20 and died on July 30?

Why can't he express good wishes for Chris Christy, former governor of New Jersey?  Christy has been lying in a hospital bed for six days now after helping to prepare Trump for his debate on Sept. 29.

Lies like "you get better" are apparent to many Americans, but they are believed by many others.

We'll find out on November 3 how many believe him. 

Thank you to Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times for their consistently good reporting on the 45th president.for these last four years.

Our president didn't express support for Wisconsin Governor Gretchen Whitmer when her would-be killers were arrested.  Instead, he said "She didn't thank me for preventing white terrorists from kidnapping her.

Here's what historian Jon Meacham tweeted yesterday:

Those Americans who’ve stood with this President will spend decades denying it—or pretending it didn’t happen. We’ve seen this before, with the Joe McCarthys and the Bull Connors. There’s still time to do the right thing—vote him out and let’s move on.
Quote Tweet
Donald J. Trump
Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced...

"There's still time to do the right thing."

"Vote him out and let's move on" to deal with the pandemic, the economy,  the Affordable Care Act, and our lives.  

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Rest in Peace: Virginia Ramey Mollenkott (1932-2020)


Virginia Ramey Mollenkott (right) with Suzannah

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott passed peacefully into Godde's closer embrace on Friday, September 25, 2020, in the presence of her beloved friend Gail Ricciuti and her former partner Debra Morrison. 

Virginia's pioneering work in feminist biblical analysis, feminist theology, and LGBTQ theologies made her a sought-after speaker at churches, conferences, universities and seminaries.  She authored or co-authored 13 books and hundreds of articles and book reviews.

Born on January 28, 1932, in Philadelphia, Virginia Ramey was raised in a Plymouth Brethren congregation and sent to a private Christian high school.  After graduating from Bob Jones University in 1953, she taught there and married Frederick Mollenkott in 1954.  They had a son, Paul, in 1958. 

Returning to Philadelphia, she earned an M.A. at Temple University in 1955 and then a doctorate in English literature at New York University in 1964, specializing in the study of John Milton.  In 1973 she left her marriage and fully accepted herself as a person attracted to women.

Dr. Mollenkott taught at Shelton College in New Jersey and Nyack College in New York before joining the English Department of William Paterson University in New Jersey in 1967.  After thirty years she retired as Professor of English Emeritus.  

In 1977 her book Women, Men, and the Bible attracted widespread attention, giving hope to women raised in denominations that required women's submission to men.  In 1975 she gave a rousing speech to the first national conference of the Evangelical Women's Caucus in Washington, D.C.

Her ground-breaking work Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? Another Christian View (HarperCollins) was originally published in 1978, co-authored with Letha Dawson Scanzoni.  It rocked the evangelical world and caused Bob Jones III, then president of her alma mater, to write a letter in 1989 declaring her unwelcome and "a devil."  She and Letha released their revised and updated edition in 1994 after the AIDS crisis, revising the subtitle to A Positive Christian Response.

Her many awards and honors can be found in the biography on her website, https://www.virginiamollenkott.com/about.html.  Those whose lives were touched by Virginia may also share their memories on the site.  

Using inclusive language to refer to the Eternal One was important to her.  She wrote The Divine Feminine: The Biblical Imagery of God as Female (Crossroad, 1993), a book which influenced many and caused her to be chosen as a Stylistic Consultant for the New International Version of the Bible.  She also served on the committee preparing An Inclusive Language Lectionary (National Council of Churches, 1983-85).

Virginia met Debra L. Morrison, a Certified Financial Planner, in 1980, and they were partners in life from then to 1996.  "We lived lakeside in Hewitt, New Jersey," says Debra.  "I enjoyed traveling extensively with Virginia, arranging the practical details so that she could focus on her speaking.  It was a joy to type six of her books, all written in longhand on yellow ruled tablets."

Later Virginia met high school science teacher Judith Suzannah Tilton (1936-2018).  They lived together as domestic partners until the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage and joyfully sealed their vows in Holy Matrimony in 2013.  

In 2008 they moved to Cedar Crest Senior Living Community in Pompton Plains, NJ.  For more about Virginia's life, see the six-part oral history at LGBTQ Religious Archives Network.

In June, Virginia suffered a fall in her apartment.  At the end of August she fell again and then developed pneumonia.  Her two last wishes were fulfilled: to return to her home after hospitalization and to cast her vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election.  

Her son, his wife, and their daughters visited regularly; Gail and Debra kept 24-hour vigils in the last weeks.  On Friday they patched her into a regularly scheduled Zoom video call with the Sisterly Conversations community, a group she founded and facilitated for over twenty years at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in Pennsylvania.  One of the sisters offered a song for Virginia just a few hours before she died.

"Now she's dancing with Suzannah," agreed Debra and Gail.

Virginia is survived by her son Paul Mollenkott, his wife Barbara, and granddaughters Miranda, Serena, and Corinne.  

A celebration of Virginia's life will be held after the risks of Covid-19 pandemic subside.  Gifts in her memory can be made specifically to "The Mollenkott-McNeil Fund" at Kirkridge.org or to EEWC-Christian Feminism Today.

See the EEWC-CFT website for more about Virginia and links to her articles on the site.  See also her archive at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and read a tribute to her from Mary E. Hunt at WATER, the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Rochester: White Power in Covering up a Death

Lt. Michael L. Perkowski, racist
Photo courtesy of The Davy V. Blog

Lt. Michael L. Perkowski is a racist.  

Days after the killing of George Floyd, he pushed Police Chief La'Ron Singletary to hide video of Daniel Prude being killed by police in Rochester, New York, on March 23, 2020.

“We certainly do not want people to misinterpret the officers’ actions and conflate this incident with any recent killings of unarmed Black men by law enforcement nationally,” he wrote in an email to Singletary. “That would simply be a false narrative, and could create animosity and potentially violent blowback in this community as a result.”

His advice was clear: Don’t release the body camera footage to the Prude family’s lawyer. The police chief replied minutes later: “I totally agree.”

Perkowski sent an email with the same point to Stephanie A. Prince, a white attorney for the City of Rochester:  "I am very concerned about releasing this prematurely in light of what is going on in Rochester and around the country. I may be overthinking, but would think the chief's office and the mayor's office would want a heads-up before this goes out," report Michael Wilson and Edgar Sandoval in their front-page article in the NY Times today.

Mark Simmons, the department's deputy chief and a Black man, sent a similar email to Singletary.

The Associated Press reports

Deputy Chief Mark Simmons cited the “current climate” in the city and the nation in a June 4 email advising then-Chief La’ron Singletary to press the city’s lawyers to deny a Prude family lawyer’s public records request for the footage of the March 23 encounter that led to his death.

The video, finally made public by Prude’s family on Sept. 4, shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground, while another officer presses a knee to his back. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.

“We certainly do not want people to misinterpret the officers' actions and conflate this incident with any recent killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement nationally,” Simmons wrote. “That would simply be a false narrative, and could create animosity and potentially violent blow back in this community as a result.”

Simmons sent both his email and a similar one from Capt. Frank Umbrino to Singleton, who consulted city attorney Prince.  She suggested "They could stall the general release of videos by allowing a lawyer for the Prude family to view them... but not be permitted to keep his own copies," according to the NY Times.

In short, we have two white police officers (Perkowski and Umbrino) and one Black officer (Simmons) and one white lawyer (Prince) urging the black police police chief (Singleton) to continue the cover-up of police killing an unarmed black man having a mental crisis in March.

There was a lot of pressure on Chief Singleton.  He couldn't stand up to it.  The culture of this police department is to protect officers and cover-up mistakes or wrong-doing.

In a blog post on August 2, 2016, Davy Vara, an "activist, filmmaker, photographer, writer, blogger" calls the Rochester PD's body-cam program a "sham" for three reasons:

1) First of all, out of the 6 RPD sections, only one, the Clinton section, will wear body-cams.

2) So, like I've said for years, cops can, and will, be able to turn off any video recording at any time, AT THEIR DISCRETION.

3) But perhaps the most telling part that the Rochester, NY Police Department's body-cam program is a sham and that the last thing the RPD is interested in is transparency, is Lt. Perkowski's answer when asked if citizens will be able to review body-cam video footage.

"We're kind of looking at that by a case by case basis," Lt. Perkowski said. "For now, until we have more video come in and more real-life scenarios, so for now, we are sticking with our FOIL (Freedom of Infornation Law) process. They would go to the City of Rochester and FOIL the video and we would look at their application and see if it was something we could give out, or not."

In the case of killing Daniel Prude, the department decided to delay releasing the camera footage as long as possible.

Bottom line:  the Rochester PD was a mess waiting to explode.  Black men (and women?) hired there understood they had to join and protect the department's culture.

Singleton did that.  And now he's fired, while Mark Simmons--one of the liars--has been promoted to acting police chief.

Wilson and Sandoval close their NYT article with these words:

Mr. Simmons, the deputy chief who urged the videos not be released, was demoted to a lieutenant last week. The demotion did not last long: On Monday, he was named acting police chief.

My heart aches for Daniel Prude, his family, and all police officers who are pushed to participate in covering up the murder of a Black man.  

It only takes one person to stand up and speak out.  

Resources on the corruption of the Rochester PD:

Ari Melber - MSNBC Special Report on Rochester PD, Killing of Daniel Prude and similar killings

Rochester NY Police Department Exposed! - Davy Vara blog, Sept. 3, 2014

Breaking Down the Rochester NY PD's Body-Cam Program Sham - Davy Vara blog, Aug. 2, 2016

DavyV TV - YouTube - September 2020

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Natasha Trethewey: How not to escape from murder

Poet laureate Natasha Hethewey

In this heart-breaking book, we first meet Natasha Trethewey as a child in a warm and loving family: her parents, her mother's parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Gulfport, Louisiana.  

But after her parents' marriage ends, we see how her mother, Gwen Turnbough, becomes entrapped by a tar baby.  A newly divorced woman supporting herself by waiting tables in Atlanta, she meets a troubled Vietnam vet and becomes pregnant by him, then becomes snared into marrying him.

At this point, don't read the book before going to sleep at night.  If you do, you will keep reading far too late and as you realize that Gwen is accepting more and more cruelty and control, you will become too terrified to sleep.  I did this.

The next time I took up the book, I read straight through to the end at 6 am, then cried until 7 am while obsessively thinking about what steps Gwen could have taken to save herself.  I woke up at noon and immediately searched Natasha and her family on the internet to learn more, spending most of the day swamped in the dismal trajectory of their lives.

Memorial Drive is terrifying, disturbing.  Natasha, a former US Poet Laureate, writes succinctly and with a poet's voice.  The title is the street in Atlanta to which Gwen moved after escaping from her murderous second husband when she was 40 years old.

It's horrible to observe how Natasha's mother shrinks and loses her sense of self as this man dominates her.  We see young Natasha also lose her sense of who she is and become imprisoned by this man.

In the second half of the book, Natasha the adult tries to come to terms with how her mother struggled to escape from this man but was eventually killed by him.  I wish it had been fiction.  

I was angry at Gwen's inability to leave him, to say no and walk out.  I remembered many years of my own marriage when I should have walked away but lacked the courage to strike out on my own with three kids.

Twenty years later, a police officer gives Natasha the trial records, including statements written by her mother and transcripts of a phone conversation that was going to be used as evidence to arrest Gwen's step-father.  She includes them in this book.

I was particularly upset to read his words threatening Gwen.  His lunacy is infuriating but all too familiar to abused wives: "If I can't have her, nobody will."  As I lay awake crying and proposing ways she could have saved herself, I also thought of all the women killed by their husbands or partners.

Then I thought of times when I had given up myself to meet the needs of others, not standing up for myself.  Like me, Gwen is so passive as her killer talks and talks, making threats, in a phone call being recorded.

She's making the recording as evidence to get an arrest warrant for him, but I wish Gwen would hang up and flee to a neighbor's apartment.  She could take her 14-year-old son with her.  

It was so pointless to lie awake thinking of things she could have done, but I could not stop until finally I told myself to place her in God's hands.  All the abused women of the world are cherished in God's loving hands.

Yes, the book is well-written.  It's poetic.  But it was painful to read... too evocative of the patient kindness of the victim and the self-excusing violent thinking of the rapist.

Takeway--how NOT to escape from murder:

Stay kind to the person abusing you.

Get date-raped by someone who wants to marry you.

Think first of your kids' welfare, not your own.

Plan a way to escape in the distant future, say ten years away.

Keep forgiving him when he beats you up.

Don't tell anyone about your problems at home.

Whistle a happy tune no matter how sad you are.

Keep arguing with him and hoping he'll listen to reason.

Never say no to him.

Remember that God and the church frown on divorce.

Let him hold you to your vow "'til death us do part."

Friday, September 4, 2020

Innocent and Executed: Dijon, Breonna & Emmett

Rest in Peace: Dijon Kizzee 1991-2020


Details on the life and death of Dijon Kizzee, shot in the back by police 15 times,  fill half the front page of Part B of the Los Angeles Times this morning.

He was riding his bicycle on Monday afternoon in Westmont, an unincorporated neighborhood between Inglewood and South Los Angeles, 4-5 miles from the Watts Towers and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.  Police saw some unnamed violation of the vehicle code for bicycle riders, tried to stop him, chased him a block, and executed him.

His mother had moved out of Westmont with its crime problems when he was a teenager, choosing Lancaster, 75 miles north, as a safer place to raise her sons.  His father was serving time.    

But his mother had health issues and died when he was 20, leaving him to care for his little brother.  

His uncle, Anthony Johnson, said, "There's really two Dijons. The Dijon before she passed away and the Dijon after she passed away," according to Leila Miller, who interviewed his friends and family. Within 6 years he was sent to state prison for driving recklessly and attempting to evade a peace officer.  After he was released, he went back to prison briefly for possession of a firearm.

He lived in Lancaster and began working as a plumber, but by the summer of Covid, he was unemployed.  He often visited friends in Westmont.  

"He was still trying to find his way," his uncle said.  

Life had dealt him some heavy blows, but he was coping--until he was killed.

His young black life didn't matter to the police trainee and his supervising officer.  They claimed he was carrying a gun wrapped in a jacket, and it became visible when he fell down.  They claimed he reached for it while lying on the ground--a reason to shoot him?  No.  And certainly not a reason to unload 15 bullets into his back.

The police killed him and scratched another atrocity into the minds of everyone in Los Angeles and the USA.  The spring and summer of videotaped police murder goes on.

I sat at my kitchen table reading all this for much of Friday--I'm retired, so my time is my own until another atrocity happens.

But then on Friday night a new documentary aired on my FX cable channel: "The Killing of Breonna Taylor" produced by "The New York Times Presents" using videos, recordings, 


911 calls, interviews, and police records gathered while reporters worked on stories about Breonna's death.  It's also streaming on Hulu.

I was mesmerized, learning that the Louisville Metro Police Department was conducting five no-knock raids that night to apprehend Breonna's ex; 8-10 officers were sent to Breonna's apartment though the ex-boyfriend no longer lived there.

One of the officers, Brett Hankison, had  "received multiple complaints of excessive use of force as well as sexual misconduct, according to portions of his personnel file obtained by The Times."  They broke open Breonna's door with a battering ram and sprayed bullets through the apartment and two neighboring ones.

This random collection of officers was poorly equipped; their no-knock raid was changed at the last minute to a "knock-and-announce" raid, but the announcement was done poorly if at all.  Breonna's current boyfriend thought it was an intruder and fired in self-defense the gun he was legally licensed to carry.

"They were undercover, not using body cameras, and wearing tactical vests, not the elaborate protective gear worn by the SWAT team. An ambulance on standby outside was told to leave about an hour before the raid, counter to standard practice," reports The Times.

The photos of bullet holes all over the walls tell the rest of the story.  Breonna, age 26, was hit five times and killed. 

Sobered by the graphic details of this documentary, I went to check email on my computer before going to bed.  But one email was from the website Medium highlighting a story by a reporter who made a pilgrimage to all the sites associated with the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 in Mississippi.  

Of course, down the rabbit hole I went on a journey through the last day of Emmett's life and the events that followed.  I recommend you take this journey too by clicking on this link: https://gen.medium.com/the-unfinished-story-of-emmett-tills-final-journey-dba0fcd4f358

Alexandra Marvar visits:

  • Remains of Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Mississippi, where supposedly Emmett Till whistled at a 21-year-old white woman.
  • The barn where he was not beaten to death and a more likely barn where the beating took place.
  • The bridge where Emmett Till's body was possibly dropped into the Tallahatchie River.
  • Graball Landing, where his body was recovered three miles down river.
  • Remains of the Tutwiler Funeral Home where his body was embalmed to be returned to Chicago for viewing.
  • The restored courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, where a brief trial exonerated the killers.
  • The Emmet Till Historic Intrepid Center, set up in the building of a former cotton gin. (The fan of a cotton gin was used to weigh down his body when it was thrown into the river.)

The commemorative markers for these sites are battered by bullets and sometimes stolen. Alexandra's journey is guided by a book by David Tell, historian and professor at the University of Kansas, Remembering Emmett Till (2019).  

Three innocent young black lives were ended by racism in the years 1955 and 2020.

Say their names: Dijon Kizzee, Breonna Taylor, and Emmett Till.

A newspaper, a video documentary, and an article brought these lives and deaths into focus for me, all on September 4, 2020, as the summer of Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter closes, as protestors and hashtags battle for control over the next four years.

The Unfinished Story of Emmett Till’s Final Journey

Till was murdered 65 years ago. Sites of commemoration across the Mississippi Delta still struggle with what’s history and what’s hearsay. By featured New York Times writer Alexandra Marvar.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Nagasaki: Fat Man incinerates thousands

Paul Tibbits and the bomber
he named for his mother

Why would anyone name a bomb?

For centuries men have given their ships and airships the names of women.  They love these toys, even when they are designed to be killers.

Starting in 1944-45, men began giving pet names to atomic bombs themselves.

Today is August 9, the day Nagasaki was blasted with a nuclear explosion.  We are now 75 years past that bloodless death day.  Humans were incinerated, flesh to ashes in seconds.   

"Fat Man" the men called their bomb. It killed between 39,000 and 80,000 humans in Nagasaki within four months.  No one really knows how many were killed instantly--there were no remains, no bones, no way to count.

"Little Boy" they called the bomb that killed humans in Hiroshima.  It killed  between 90,000 and 146,000 people in one blow, not counting those who took years to die.  It killed many little boys.

Wikipedia reports calmly:

On August 6, one of the modified B-29s dropped a uranium gun-type bomb ("Little Boy") on Hiroshima. Another B-29 dropped a plutonium implosion bomb ("Fat Man") on Nagasaki three days later. 

We call ourselves civilized, so mass murder of thousands must be a mark of civilization.  Giving tender names to our weapons of murder must be the modern equivalent of naming a sword.

I feel sorry for Enola Gay Tibbits.  

What woman would want her name on the B-29 bomber that dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima?  

Her son Paul Tibbits named the bomber for his mother, Enola Gay.  Maybe she was a bummer of a woman.  A bomber. 

That death-laden plane could have been named "Mary Louise" or "Susan Marie."  "Suzy Q."

The B-29 that carried "Fat Man" was given the ugly name Bockscar, from the surname of pilot Frederick C. Bock.

If we stop to think about these things--as we should at least once a year--we may go crazy.  Death tied up in a bow with cute names. 

If we don't stop to think about the tens of thousands needlessly murdered by our own country--America, the Beautiful--we accept being morally bankrupt.

We are complicit.  We are the children of those who chose to kill, and by not crying out against this atrocity, we allow it to happen again.

A British band called Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark wrote a song in 1980 to remind us:

Enola Gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday
We got your message on the radio, conditions normal and you're coming home
These games you play, they're gonna end in more than tears someday
Uh huh Enola Gay, it shouldn't ever have to end this way
It's 8:15, that's the time that it's always been
We got your message on the radio, conditions normal and you're coming home
Enola Gay, is mother proud of little boy today
Uh huh, this kiss you give, it's never ever gonna fade away
Enola Gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday
We got your message on the radio, conditions normal

See also:
LA Times:   Hiroshima's lasting shadow on the world by Nicholas Goldberg
Science:     Aftermath - radiation's health effects by Dennis Normile
                    Avoiding another Hiroshima by Madeleine K. Albright