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I met the greatest lady the other night. She was standing next to me while I was buying dinner and we started to talk about the radiation problem. It’s on everyone’s minds in Tokyo. She was 17 when Hiroshima was bombed (Aug. 6, 1945). She lived near the city and went to see it along with her family members. She said all of her family were exposed to radiation, yet many have lived well into their 90s. She said we should wash our vegetables very, very well, and be equally concerned about fertilizers. “The human body is very tough,” she said.

She was more worried about survivors. “Many women lost their husbands and people lost family members in the war,” she said. Those people ended up having really hard lives. Many of the survivors of the Tohoku-Pacific disaster also will have a hard time living their lives. Interest in them will fade.

“God chooses who will live and who will die,” she said. “Sometimes the ones who are swept away are the lucky ones. We have to support those people left behind. By doing that, we have to do our best. We can’t let the Japanese economy get any worse. People who have money have to spend it. We all have to pull together now.”

I was moved by her. Other people in the store stood there and listened. It never would have happened a month ago. People want to talk about what is going on, and sometimes older people have the best advice.

greg irwin

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