On August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber dropped the first atomic bomb used in war over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, the U.S. dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
Estimates are that these two atomic bombs killed between 130,000 and 200,000 people, most of whom were civilians. The Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have marked the occasion each year by adding additional names of those who died later from radiation damage.
These two atomic bombs remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.
After seeing the devastation and that the bombing had destroyed one-third of the nation’s wealth, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito surrendered on August 15, citing “a new and most cruel bomb.”
Every year, Tri-Valley CAREs commemorates August 6 and 9 by promoting peace and raising awareness of the effects of the bomb on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This local commemoration plays a significant role, as it focuses on ensuring that nuclear weapons are never again used in war. Thousands more demonstrations worldwide also support a nuclear weapons free future.
These dates serve to remind us that all wars are terrible, and that nuclear warfare is uniquely horrifying. A nuclear war waged with today’s more sophisticated and devastating nuclear weapons could end human civilization.
I want to remind our Tri-Valley communities that there is more to be done to promote peace. This is why I participate in local commemorations each year.
Each of us can spread peace by undertaking our own creative action. We can do it from home by using education toolkits and testimonials or by participating in an action.
Whether you choose to promote peace this August 6 and 9 through social media posts, writing letters, joining an annual rally that highlights Livermore Lab’s nuclear activities (on-line this year, https://enlightenedfilms.com/august-rally/) or by doing something else that is meaningful to you, please do it!
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are our histories and our responsibility; we must never forget them.