Please excuse my tardiness but it has been a hectic week! This anniversary was too important to ignore though especially considering I had recently taken the photograph above which depicts the clothing remains of of a victim of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.
On 6 August 1945, the Enola Gay (a US military B-29 bomber) dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and up to 140,000 people were killed. Three days later on 9 August 1945, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and 80,000 people were killed. The bombings resulted in the surrender of Japan to the Allied forces and is attributed with bringing World War II to an end.
But at what cost? The predominantly civilian victims of the atomic bombs experienced their skin literally melting off their bodies. Those closest to the bombs died within seconds but about 15-20% of the victims died from the effects of flash burns, radiations burns and injuries sustained in the fall out. In later weeks and months, they succumbed to radiation sickness, illness and malnutrition. There have also been several linked cases of leukaemia and other cancers in the area since the event due to remaining radiation.
The horrific but acclaimed Japanese manga series Barefoot Gen illustrates the effects of the bomb. Take a look at this short video. You can watch the full feature length film on YouTube. That link takes you to the playlist and consists of nine 10-minute clips.
My grandfather fought in World War II and I am not taking sides. I just think it is important to realise that we can never do this again. That we must trust in organisations such as the United Nations and that atomic war can never, ever be allowed to happen again.
This excellent article presents a United Press news story that appeared at the time.