I worked on my last story for the Missourian today. Caitlin and I covered an event organized in observance of the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
Three unexpected occurrences with this event:
1. One of the speakers for the event, Bill Wickersham, said he would open his speech by remembering two local peace advocates, one of them being Charles Atkins. When I spoke to Bill, he told me he remembered my name from my life story on Atkins. *insert surprised face* I did not realise people paid attention to bylines!
2. M Welch (from my net-zero story) was at the event, and she started speaking to me (without introductions). It was only a few minutes into the conversation that I realised who she was and introduced myself. She seemed glad to put a face to the reporter who had called her five times.
3. I met the wife of Charles Atkins, Ellen. I was taking pictures of people at the event and I just randomly approached a woman eating and asked to take her picture. I asked her for her name and when she told me, I introduced myself. I asked her if she was happy with the story I wrote on her husband. She said she was. She was thankful I wrote it. Knowing that made me feel proud of myself and my work.
Not everyone at the event was there because they felt strongly about disarming nuclear weapons. Some were there for the music. Some were there because it was an event for peace and they were strong advocates for peace in general. But they were all there for a single goal – peace.
One of the people I spoke to there was a visiting scholar from China. He specializes in solar energy and had heard about the event from his Chinese contacts at MU. His first opinion when he heard of that event was that it was organized by Japanese people. He was surprised to see Americans. He was also surprised that Americans regretted dropping the bomb on Japan. He thinks Americans should regret the entire war, not just one part of it.
As a last story, this one turned out quite well. I also took some pictures at the event, some of which are used in the story. Here are all of them.