This week marks the 68th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons. War is brutal and shows no mercy to innocent civilians and children and these two cities will always be a reminder of that fact.
About 140,000 were killed following the August 6, 1945 U.S. bombing of Hiroshima. Three days later a second nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing about 70,000 more.
Ironically many who fled the destruction of Hiroshima chose Nagasaki as safe haven because it was a centre of Christianity in Japan.
“We Japanese are history’s sole victims of the nuclear attack and we have the certain responsibility to bring about a world without nuclear weapons,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the nation on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing this year. “And it is our duty to continue to remind the world of nuclear weapons’ inhumanity.”
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui made a similar pledge, calling nuclear bombs the “ultimate inhumane weapon and an absolute evil.”
The U.S. and its allies have argued the bombings were necessary and helped save lives by convincing Japan to surrender, bringing a quicker end to World War II.
Peaceful demonstrations will take place all around the world this week to remember the horror of this weapon and to call for vigilance that they should never again be used.
Unfortunately the world will forever face the threat of nuclear weapons – once the Genie is out of the bottle there is no getting it back in.
The technology to build them didn’t exist when the Second World War began.
If only the human race could find a way to channel that much effort peaceful resolution of our differences.