Two atom bombs were dropped on Japan 67 years ago, one on Hiroshima on August 6 and another on Nagasaki on August 9. They were dropped to end the war in the Pacific, which, in fact, did end with the Japanese agreeing to surrender on August 14, 1945 (formal surrender on September 2), though there are many historians who claim/ debate that the bombs did not need to be dropped in order for the war to end.
Between 80,00 and 140,000 people died immediately after the blast on Hiroshima, with over 100,000 seriously injured. 74,000 died immediately after the blast in Nagasaki with another 75,000 seriously injured. It is unclear how many died from consequences of the radiation and injuries from the bomb over the next decades, but estimates suggest that by 1950 another 200,000 people died from bomb-related sickness and injuries. This number does not include how many were permanently disabled by the blasts. 90% of casualties were civilians.
The United States has the dubious “honor” of being the only country to have used nuclear weapons, which unleashed a global desire for and global increase in nuclear armaments.
It is important to remember the victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is important to make the commitment to not repeat the evil as is articulated in the plaque for the Memorial Monument in Hiroshima (photo above).
How are each of us supporting the cause of nuclear non-proliferation?