In Pictures | Never forget the victims, never forget history! Remembering the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
August 6, 2020 marks 75 years of the world's first atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima. Japan, with the coronavirus pandemic, is forced to scale back ceremonies to remember the victims. Survivors, relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended 2020’s main event in Hiroshima to pray for those killed or wounded in the bombing and call for world peace.
On August 6, 75 years ago the world changed - a US warplane dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan killing 1,40,000 people.
At 8:15 am, on the ill-fated day, a US B-29 warplane, Enola Gay, dropped a bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" and destroyed the city and its people.
Thousands more died later from injuries and radiation-related illnesses. Three days later, on August 9, a second nuclear bomb - 'Fat Man' - was dropped on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered two weeks later, ending World War Two.
But the decades since have seen the weapons stockpiling of the Cold War and a nuclear stand-off among nations that continues to this day.
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) wrote,
In 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, where he offered no apology but embraced survivors and called for a world free of nuclear weapons.
Today Obama wrote down that,
It is reported that some 70,000 to 80,000 people were killed immediately by the blast and resultant firestorm, and about the same number of people were injured in Hiroshima.
In the months that followed, more people lost their lives in both the cities due to the effects of the bombings.
Along with the lives the bombs took, there was massive structural damage too, with Japanese officials stating that around 69 per cent of the buildings in Hiroshima were destroyed.
Survivors of atomic bombings often used the term pika-don. It translates as “flash-bang” or “flash-boom” and describes how nuclear weapons produce blinding light before an explosion.
When the two bombs were detonated, thermal heat from the explosions seared human skin and vaporized some people instantly.
On the 75th anniversary, elderly survivors, whose average age now exceeds 83, lamented the slow progress of nuclear disarmament. An aging group of survivors, known as hibakusha, feel a growing urgency to tell their stories, in hopes of reaching a younger generation.
Debate still rages over the justification for the United States’ decision to drop two nuclear bombs on Japanese civilians, a question that the U.S. has historically been reluctant to address.
About 220,000 Japanese people are estimated to have been killed in the two bombings, although the exact number will never be known due to the thousands of people who were obliterated on impact and those who died years later from radiation poisoning.
Supporters of the bombings failed to consider the human and environmental costs, let's hope that world will never witness such fate again.