70th Anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima

AtomicBombDomeAn American B-29 superfortress named the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb named “Little Boy” at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945 on Hiroshima, Japan. (Image: Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima, Japan).

Three days later on August 9, 1945, the primary target was the city of Kokura, Japan but due to cloud cover, the second atomic bomb named “Fat Man” was dropped on the secondary target of Nagasaki, Japan.

On August 15, 1945, news of the surrender of Japan was announced to the world.

The BBC reports, Hiroshima marks 70 years since atomic bomb:

A ceremony, attended by PM Shinzo Abe, was held at Hiroshima’s memorial park before thousands of lanterns are released on the city’s Motoyasu river.

The bombing – and a second one on Nagasaki three days later – is credited with bringing to an end World War Two.

But it claimed the lives of at least 140,000 people in the city.

A US B-29 bomber called the Enola Gay dropped the uranium bomb, exploding some 600m (1,800ft) above the city, at around 08:10 on 6 August 1945.

On that day alone, at least 70,000 people are believed to have been killed. Many more died of horrific injuries caused by radiation poisoning in the days, weeks and months that followed.

People across Japan have observed a minute’s silence to mark the anniversary. In Hiroshima a bell tolled at 08:15 local time – when the US aircraft dropped the bomb that flattened the city centre.

Addressing 40,000 people who attended the commemoration ceremony at Hiroshima’s peace park near the epicentre of the 1945 attack, Mr Abe called for worldwide nuclear disarmament.

He said that that atomic bomb not only killed thousands of people in Hiroshima but also caused unspeakable suffering to survivors.

“Today Hiroshima has been revived,” the prime minister said, “and has become a city of culture and prosperity.

“Seventy years on I want to reemphasise the necessity of world peace.”

Mr Abe and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matusi were joined by US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy for the official ceremony of remembrance on Thursday, which included silent prayers, the release of doves and a declaration of peace.

Mr Matsui described nuclear weapons as an “absolute evil” while urging the world to put an end to them forever.

“To coexist we must abolish the… ultimate inhumanity that is nuclear weapons. Now is the time to start taking action,” he said in his annual speech.

Matsui renewed an invitation to world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see the scars themselves when they attend the Group of Seven summit of top industrialized democracies in Japan next year.

“President Obama and other policymakers, please come to the A-bombed cities, hear the hibakusha (surviving victims) with your own ears, and encounter the reality of the atomic bombings,” he said.

“Surely, you will be impelled to start discussing a legal framework, including a nuclear weapons convention.”

Later in the day, thousands of paper lanterns will be released on the city’s Motoyasu River – symbolising the journey to the afterlife of those who died.

2 responses to “70th Anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima

  1. There is a very moving event taking place this week in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the bomb used against Hiroshima.

    Here’s a link to the week’s programming:

    http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/campaign-nonviolence-national-conference/schedule-of-events-august-6-9-2015/

  2. Carolyn Classen

    To commemorate this event there is a poster panel exhibit up at the Tempe History Museum (Aug. 4 to 9) as well as a special evening show tomorrow night Aug. 7. More info at FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/875536512537724/, and cross listed under our So. AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition website, http://www.southernazjapan.org (Calendar).