Hiroshima Day

Although the dropping of atomic bombs by the USA on Japan was surely one of the most significant events of the 20th century, in many respects changing our view of the world, the anniversaries of the two events that destroyed the cities and many of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki pass almost without notice so far as the commercial mass media are concerned.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.
Flowers were laid during a short silence

Sixty-three years ago, at 8.15 am on August 6, 1946, the USAF B-29 Enola Gay dropped the first atomic weapon to be used in war, code-named “Little Boy” on the Japanese town of Hiroshima. It took almost a minute to fall from over 30,000 feet to a height of 2000 ft where it was detonated. Around 75,0000 people – almost one in three of the population of the city – were killed immediately and roughly the same number were seriously injured. Two days later, on 8 August, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, resulting in at least 40,000 being killed immediately and possibly twice as many dying by the end of the year. Many more in both cities suffered from the effects of radiation and died later.

Around 200 people met in London at Thursday lunchtime, 6th August to remember the anniversary of the first use of atomic bombs. Similar ceremonies were also held in other cities around the world. The London Memorial Ceremony, organised by London CND, took place in Tavistock Square, next to the cherry tree planted there by the Mayor of Camden in 1967 to remember the victims of Hiroshima.

More about the London memorial event and more pictures on My London Diary.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

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