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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lou Gehrig has nothing on Tsutomu Yamaguchi

When Lou Gehrig retired from the Yankees on July 4, 1939 because of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), he said in his now famous good-by speech that "Today, I am the luckiest man in the world..." I never wanted to be so lucky/unlucky as to have a disease commonly named after me.

But maybe the luckiest/ unlucky man is Tsutomu Yamaguci. You see, Yamaguci was in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. He was less than 2 1/2 miles from ground zero when the world's first atomic bomb was dropped. He was seriously burned but was able to get to his home, Nagasaki, just three days later to experience the second atomic bomb drop.

He is the only known and confirmed survivor of both atomic bombs. In Hiroshima, 200,000 were killed. In Nagasaki, 140,000.

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