75 years ago on 6th August 1945 am.the United States dropped an atomic bomb called ' Little Boy" on Hiroshima, Japan which is estimated to have killed 100,000 to 180,000 people out of a population of 350,000. Then three days later, a second atomic bomb called "Fat Man" was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing between 50,000 and 100,000 people.
.Hiroshima and Nagasaki were largely civilian towns, meaning there wasn't a strong military reason to drop the atomic bombs over those particular cities. No one was excluded from the horrors of the atomic bomb, a "destroyer of worlds" burnt hotter than the sun. Some people were vaporised upon impact, while others suffered burns and radiation poisoning that would kill them days, weeks or even months later. Others were crushed by debris, burned by unimaginable heat or suffocated by the lack of oxygen. Many survivors suffered from leukemia and other cancers like thyroid and lung cancer at higher rates than those not exposed to the bombs. Mothers were more likely to lose their children during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Children exposed to radiation were more likely to have learning disabilities and impaired growth.
Those that did manage to survive would be traumatised for the rest of their lives. Hibakusha is a term widely used in Japan, that refers to the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it translates as 'explosion effected Survivor of Light. These survivors speak of the deep, unabating grief they felt in the days, months and decades since the attack They have described the shame of being a survivor , many were unable to marry, find jobs, or live any sort of normal life. They have said that many Hibakusha never speak of the day, instead choosing to suffer in silence. They told what it was like to be suddenly alone in middle age, to lose their parents, spouses, children, and livelihoods in a single instant. In memory of them, we should make sure that the misery and devastation caused by nuclear weapons is never forgotten.
Even if Japan was not fully innocent, the people of Japan did not deserve to pay the price for their nations wrongdoing, and there was absolutely no moral justification in obliterating these two cities and killing its inhabitants in what was clearly a crime against humanity and murder on an epic scale. Hiroshima and Nagasaki held no strategic importance. Japan were an enemy on the brink of failure an members of the country's top leadership were involved in peace negotiations. Many believe that these two atrocities were a result of geopolitical posturing at its most barbaric, announcing in a catastrophic display of military capability, of inhumane intention showing America's willingness to use doomsday weapons on civilian populations.The bombings serving as warnings and the fist act of the Cold War against its imperialist rival Russia. A message to the Russians of the power of destruction and technological military capability that the US had managed to develop.Three days later U.S president Harry Truman exulted ; "This is the greatest thing in history! " and gloated that " we are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely."
Then the photos began to emerge, haunting images of burned children with their skin hanging off, of bodies charred and there was Sadaki Sasaki and the 1,000 origami peace cranes she folded before her death at the age of 12 from leukemia ten years after the bomb was dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima. The bombs dropped were of a indiscriminate and cruel character beyond comparison with weapons and projectiles of the past. Despite all this Truman never regretted his decision. .
Today as the world commemorates the lives that were lost and the unacceptable devastation caused to people and planet, we still have so much to learn from this picture of indescribable human suffering. Lets not forget that in our our current dangerous times, many world leaders remain recklessly committed to their nuclear arsenals. There are an estimated 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world at the present time with over 90% held by USA and Russia, but also by the UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and lately North Korea. This is more than enough to wipe out most of the human race and most other life.
For Hiroshima Day and on August 9 Nagasaki Day we must echo the call of the Hibakusha, and press our leaders to take the actions necessary to ensure these immoral, illegal weapons are never used again. The calls come amid progress on the criminalisation of nuclear weapons by the United Nations, where three more countries have voted to ratify the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The treaty needs 50 countries to ratify it, at which point it would become international law — though the pact is binding only on those countries which are party to it. By last month, 40 countries had signed, with Sudan, Fiji and Botswana being the most recent signatories.
Britain, the United States and other nuclear powers have refused to sign and did not attend the 2017 session of the UN general assembly which voted for the treaty.
The abolition calls also come against the background of intensifying belligerence and military threats from United States President Donald Trump.
Campaigners against nuclear weapons said the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, remain relevant today in a world where nuclear bomb stockpiles cast the shadow of potential global obliteration.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament secretary Kate Hudson said: “We are facing an increasingly dangerous military situation driven most alarmingly by Trump’s policies.
“His withdrawal from key treaties, the possibility of the resumption of nuclear testing, all increase the risk of nuclear war.
“Of course, we understand the context for this: the US is a declining power economically and seeks to assert itself militarily.
“This has been the case for some time — noticeable under the Bush administration, which sought to compel non-compliant states to bend to the US will.
“Trump’s drive to war is far more dangerous. The US National Security Strategy focuses on what it describes as strategic rivals or competitors, notably China and Russia. Its goal is to be able to defeat them militarily, to prepare for war on a massive scale.” She said that “so-called usable nuclear weapons” have been deployed. “Taking these two strategies together, it is clear that there is a significant danger of a US war on China and that opposing this is a fundamental task for the movement today,” she said.“This is a conflict where nuclear weapons will be used and we need to work with all our strength to prevent such a war.” She said the world today is “closer to tragedy” than it has ever been. “On this anniversary, we must recommit to working together, in unity, to ensure that those hands never reach midnight.”
Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings: “We must never forget these atrocities, and we must never give up on the mission to rid our world of nuclear weapons.”
Stop the War Campaign convenor Lindsey German said: “For my generation, Hiroshima meant that there could never be another major war without the destruction of all humanity.
“We still see this terrible barbarism everywhere today. The major states are nuclear armed and there is the ever-present threat of conflict, now growing between the US and China in particular.
“Today, August 6, we should redouble our efforts to oppose war and all nuclear weapons.”
CND Cymru chairwoman Jill Evans said: “People in Wales and internationally are marking this anniversary by joining the many events online.
“We cannot hold our planned event at the National Eisteddfod, but we can still raise our voices to call on governments to act. I urge everyone to take some time this week to listen to the powerful testimony of nuclear survivors.”
Also in memory of the victims of the Hiroshima bombing Shabaka Hutchings will share a new composition on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, via Stop the War Coalition this August. Alongside the live stream concert, Stop the War will also be profiling anti-war jazz records, starting with John Coltrane’s performance of ‘Peace on Earth’ from his Concert in Japan album.
Stop the War Coalition will stream Hutchings’ new composition live across their social media platforms on Thursday 6th August from at 7.00pm GMT.
Head here for more info.
Hiroshima; An Acrostic Poem
Horror was dropped on August 6, 1945
Incinerating thousands of innocents
Reason evaporated after deadly poison shed
One bomb released left devastaion
Senseless slaughter, the scorched sin of humanity
Haunting vapors of pitiful sorrow
Insanity blossoming with black rain
Murderous atoms shattered spirits
American weapon of evil, B-29 Enola Gay