SWFL man shares footage father recorded after 1945 Hiroshima bombing

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: Shared with WINK News.

A man in Southwest Florida gave us a different look at a moment in history. For the first time, he shared video his father recorded of the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. He says, while his father is no longer here, it helps him feel connected to his dad.

Ron Hagerman’s father was a radiologist in the U.S. Army during World War II. He went to Hiroshima 75 years ago after the U.S. Army Air Corps was given the order to drop an atomic bomb on the city.

“It’s sad when you think about it,” Hagerman said. “Everything that was there was destroyed. Ya know, for miles, there wasn’t much standing.”

Hagerman shared footage his father captured when he went to Hiroshima in its aftermath, showing the destroyed homes and devastation the bomb left behind.

“He wrapped his camera in soft lead and made a lens cap out of lead, also to protect the film from being exposed to the radiation,” Hagerman explained. “You can see it’s a pretty old video.”

Hagerman’s father volunteered to go to Hiroshima after the bombing before he even turned of age.

“I’m proud of him, ya know? I’m proud of what he did,” Hagerman said.

In his children’s eyes, Hagerman’s father is a hero who overcame all odds.

“They told my father you probably will never have kids, and you probably won’t live long,” Hagerman said. “But he had five kids and lived till 89 years old.”

Hagerman says his father used to show them videos of World War II when they were younger.

“We used to have a video night on Friday nights, and we would all watch them,” Hagerman said. “He would show them from World War II. He took, he would point things out, but he wouldn’t give details. He would be like, ‘Oh, that was my horse when I was in the Philippines, or that was my sailboat.’”

On the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Hagerman’s memories of his father feel closer than ever.

“Every time I see the anniversary of Hiroshima, I pop it up, and I look at it,” Hagerman said. “And it makes me remember … I think about him all the time. Never forget. You know, he taught me everything I know.”

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