Thursday, August 06, 2015

Hiroshima Plus 70

Image: Smoke rises from the explosion of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 194570 years ago on this date in 1945, the first atomic bomb used in warfare was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by a lone B-29 bomber piloted by Col.. Paul Tibbets named the Enola Gay.

When the 'Little Boy' exploded in an air burst 2000 feet over the city at 8:15 AM local time, 60,000 people were instantly killed and five square miles of the city was left in ruins.  Thousands of other Hiroshima residents who survived the initial blast later succumbed to burns, radiation poisoning or died of cancer and other illnesses combined with effects of malnutrition.

It is estimated that 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki.

While the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki three days later are credited with ending World War II, they are still considered the most controversial events of the war.  The atomic bombings are still being argued in hindsight whether they were even necessary seven decades later.

A ceremony was held yesterday at 6:15 PM Houston time in Hiroshima Peace Park in which representatives from over 100 nations including US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy were there to mark that somber anniversary with a one minute moment of silence and renew the call to work toward a world without nuclear weapons. 

This 70th anniversary also dovetails nicely with the debate going on inside I-495  about whether the recent Iran nuclear deal will not only shut down their ability to build The Bomb, but be enforceable.

While that's another issue for discussion, what we know is that the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were primitive compared to the nuclear weapons we possess now that can be sent zooming off to their targets in mere minutes..  

We have come close in 1962, 1973, 1979 and twice in 1983 because of mistakes, military system glitches and political miscalculations of the US and the Soviet Union launching nuke attacks on each others respective nations and imperiling life on Planet Earth as a result.  

We must do our utmost to ensure that these are the last instances of cities being nuked in anger, and get people to remember, as I paraphrase a line from the movie WarGames, in that the only way to win a nuclear war is not start one in the first place.

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