Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 6 is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. The justification was to bring a swift end to the war in the Pacific, to save lives of soldiers.  But it was an atrocity to use the death and destruction of cities filled with men, women, and children to do so.

On August 6, 1945, during World War II (1939-45), an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender in World War II in a radio address on August 15, citing the devastating power of “a new and most cruel bomb.”

It is disheartening that the current U.S. Republican administration has indicated a willingness to use nuclear weapons, has taunted North Korea, and plans to back out of the agreement with Iran which has inspections in place to monitor their nuclear program.

Peace vigils and remembrances of these tragedies have been held since then in hopes that the attention and prayers may keep this from ever happening again. This Monday, August 6, at 7:00 p.m. the Catholic Peace Ministry is holding such a remembrance at the Japanese Peace and Friendship Bell on the state capitol grounds in Des Moines.


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