August 6, 1945: Remembering Hiroshima in 2017

August 6, 2017

Mostly an encore post.
Toronto Star version of a Japan News story on Hiroshima's prayers for peace in 2016:

Toronto Star version of a Japan News story on Hiroshima’s prayers for peace in 2016: “Children pray as lanterns float on the river during Saturday’s 71st anniversary activities, commemorating the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. (Yuya Shino)”

Say a prayer for Hiroshima, today.

Then repeat it, for the rest of the planet.

72 years ago, U.S. military action brought a quick close to hostilities without an invasion of Japan, with the detonation of two atomic bombs, one over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and one over Nagasaki on August 9.

Events marking the anniversary now carry the spectre of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which experienced core meltdowns in reactors as a result of a tsunami in 2011.  Anti-nuclear activists in Australia note similarities between the bombs ending the war, and the disaster at Fukushima.

In Hiroshima on August 6, then in Nagasaki on August 9, Japanese citizens soberly and somberly observe the anniversaries, and pray for an end to nuclear weapons. As the only cities ever bombed with atomic weapons, they have special experience, a special pleading to which we should all listen.

Daily Yomiuri Online carried a description of memorial events in Hiroshima in 2008, from Yomiuri Shimbun:

NAGASAKI–The Nagasaki municipal government held a ceremony Saturday marking the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city, at which participants called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

A total of 5,650 A-bomb survivors, representatives of victims’ families from around the nation and Nagasaki citizens participated in the ceremony. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also attended the ceremony, which was held in Nagasaki Peace Park near ground zero.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue read out the Nagasaki Peace Declaration, which urges the worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons.

“Human beings have no future unless nuclear weapons are eliminated. We shall clearly say no to nuclear weapons,” Taue said.

The ceremony started at 10:40 a.m. Three books listing the names of 3,058 people confirmed to have died as a result of the bombing in the past year were placed inside a memorial box in front of the Peace Statue.

The total number of books listing the names of the deceased is 147, and the number of names is 145,984.

Representatives of surviving victims, bereaved families, the prime minister and Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba placed flowers at the site.

At 11:02 a.m., the time the atomic bomb struck, ceremony participants offered a silent prayer. At the same time, local high school students rang the Bells of Nagasaki.

In the peace declaration, Taue read from an academic paper written by four people, including a former U.S. secretary of state, which promoted a new policy for developing nuclear weapons. The proposal encouraged countries to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The mayor said world nuclear powers “should sincerely fulfill their responsibility of nuclear disarmament,” and urged the government to pass the three nonnuclear principles into law.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Takashi Nagai, a medical doctor who helped rescue of victims after the bombing.

The mayor referenced one of the doctor’s remarks, saying: “There are no winners or losers in a war. There is only destruction.”

Shigeko Mori, 72, representing survivors of the bombing, read out an oath for peace that said Japan should promote its Constitution and the three nonnuclear principles to the rest of the world to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Fukuda gave a speech, saying, “Japan should play a responsible role in the international community as a nation cooperating for peace.”

(Aug. 10, 2008)

As a Utah Downwinder, these dates push me to depression. We just saw atomic fallout (thought, from more more than 100 bombs), and many of us escaped with no significant physical injury. I cannot imagine the pain of survivors in Japan.

I can imagine what could happen, if we do not join them in calling for reining in of nuclear weaponry.

Other information:

Other related posts at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

Remembering that U.S. involvement in World War II as a combatant came after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, one may respect and appreciate the Japanese national desire to commemorate the brutal end of the war with conversations about peace and how to achieve it.  The film below is a short, touching introduction to the Hiroshima Peace Museum website:

Related articles, 2012:

A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan

A-Bomb Dome at Ground Zero, Hiroshima, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Save

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Holiday greetings from President Kennedy: Don’t worry about the Russians bombing the North Pole and Santa Claus

December 19, 2014

In 1961 a little girl named Michelle wrote to President John F. Kennedy, expressing her fears that in a nuclear exchange, the Russians might bomb the North Pole, and Santa Claus might be lost.

President Kennedy’s response was human, and fatherly.

We should work to spread that spirit this season, and all seasons.

Tip of the old scrub brush, with pine-scented bubbles for the season, to the John F. Kennedy Library.


President Obama’s statement on preliminary agreement to stop nuclear proliferation in Iran

November 24, 2013

After the agreement was announced, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry embraced.

Foreign ministers of several nations collaborated in Geneva, Switzerland, to get an agreement to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons to Iran; an agreement to lead to a larger agreement was struck Saturday, November 23, 2013. After the agreement was announced, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry embraced.

Obama, Iran, Kerry, Nuclear, sanctions

More:

Foreign Ministers announce agreement on Iranian nuclear weapons development, November 23, 2013

Image and caption via CNN: Chief negotiator Catherine Ashton and Iran’s foreign minister announce agreement on Iran’s nuclear program early on Sunday, November 24 in Geneva. From left to right: British Foreign Secretary William Hague, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.


August 6, 1945: Hiroshima felt atomic warfare, 67 years ago today

August 6, 2012

Mostly an encore post; some links added in quoted text, for ease of reference.
Hiroshima citizens float candles in the river, Hiroshima Day 2008

Hiroshima residents float lanterns in the river to remember the dead after a traditional Hiroshima Day concert (2008?); the concert and lantern floating are annual events

67 years ago, U.S. military action brought a quick close to hostilities without an invasion of Japan, with the detonation of two atomic bombs, one over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and one over Nagasaki on August 9.

Events marking the anniversary last year and this year carry the spectre of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which experienced core meltdowns in reactors as a result of a tsunami earlier in 2011.  Anti-nuclear activists in Australia note similarities between the bombs ending the war, and the disaster at Fukushima.

Daily Yomiuri Online carried a description of memorial events in Hiroshima in 2008, from Yomiuri Shimbun:

NAGASAKI–The Nagasaki municipal government held a ceremony Saturday marking the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city, at which participants called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

A total of 5,650 A-bomb survivors, representatives of victims’ families from around the nation and Nagasaki citizens participated in the ceremony. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also attended the ceremony, which was held in Nagasaki Peace Park near ground zero.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue read out the Nagasaki Peace Declaration, which urges the worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons.

“Human beings have no future unless nuclear weapons are eliminated. We shall clearly say no to nuclear weapons,” Taue said.

The ceremony started at 10:40 a.m. Three books listing the names of 3,058 people confirmed to have died as a result of the bombing in the past year were placed inside a memorial box in front of the Peace Statue.

The total number of books listing the names of the deceased is 147, and the number of names is 145,984.

Representatives of surviving victims, bereaved families, the prime minister and Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba placed flowers at the site.

At 11:02 a.m., the time the atomic bomb struck, ceremony participants offered a silent prayer. At the same time, local high school students rang the Bells of Nagasaki.

In the peace declaration, Taue read from an academic paper written by four people, including a former U.S. secretary of state, which promoted a new policy for developing nuclear weapons. The proposal encouraged countries to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The mayor said world nuclear powers “should sincerely fulfill their responsibility of nuclear disarmament,” and urged the government to pass the three nonnuclear principles into law.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Takashi Nagai, a medical doctor who helped rescue of victims after the bombing.

The mayor referenced one of the doctor’s remarks, saying: “There are no winners or losers in a war. There is only destruction.”

Shigeko Mori, 72, representing survivors of the bombing, read out an oath for peace that said Japan should promote its Constitution and the three nonnuclear principles to the rest of the world to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Fukuda gave a speech, saying, “Japan should play a responsible role in the international community as a nation cooperating for peace.”

(Aug. 10, 2008)

Other information:

Other related posts at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

Remembering that U.S. involvement in World War II as a combatant came after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, one may respect and appreciate the Japanese national desire to commemorate the brutal end of the war with conversations about peace and how to achieve it.  The film below is a short, touching introduction to the Hiroshima Peace Museum website:


Related articles, 2012:

A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan

A-Bomb Dome at Ground Zero, Hiroshima, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Save


Nuclear weapons: History and policy, in a poster

December 23, 2010

Wish I knew who created this poster, and how.  Some minor inaccuracies — can you find them?  Could you prevail on the Big Format Printer person at your school to print one of these full size for your U.S. history, world history or government class?

Nuclear Weapons, a poster

Nuclear Weapons, a poster

How about a similar poster for the Cold War?  Vietnam War?  Civil Rights Movement?  Gilded Age?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kenny, cold in Pinggu.


Obama in Prague, on nuclear weapons

April 6, 2009

First e-mail of the day, from an early-riser friend:

A short while ago I caught a replay, on C-SPAN, of President Obama’s speech in Hradcany Square in Prague. I tuned in so as to catch almost all of it — practically all I missed were the introductory remarks. And they were cheering, I tell you. Can you say, “Ich bin ein Berliner” ??
This guy isn’t fooling around. He’s no Bush. He’s a “people’s President.” He’s charismatic. He’s exactly who we need and when we need him.

Obama talked about reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons.  Some people still dream of peace.

See also these sites:

President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, in Prague - photo via Politico

President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, in Prague - photo via Politico

The printed version of Obama’s remarks, below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »


Atomic bomb madness: A real blast

July 23, 2008

Truly the lazy days of summer — I missed the anniversary of the Trinity Project, the first atomic bomb ever exploded, at White Sands, New Mexico, early on the morning of July 16, 1945. That was 63 years ago.

The Trinity atomic bomb test, culmination of the Manhattan Project, July 16, 1945

The Trinity atomic bomb test, culmination of the Manhattan Project, July 16, 1945

The New Mexico blast demonstrated that atomic bombs work. President Harry S Truman got the word of the successful test while attending the Potsdam Conference with Winston Churchill of England and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union.

The Potsdam Conference, July 1945 - Churchill, Stalin, and Truman at the table - Photo from the Truman

The Potsdam Conference, July 1945 - Churchill, Stalin, and Truman at the table - Photo from the Truman

Truman hoped to avoid a land invasion of Japan, which experts said would leave at least a million dead U.S. soldiers and five million dead Japanese. Truman was a soldier in World War I, who saw the trenches close up. He hoped to avoid anything similar for soldiers, and civilians. From Potsdam, Truman, Churchill and Stalin issued the Potsdam Declaration, ending with an ultimatum to Japan to surrender unconditionally or face terrible consequences.

Japan did not surrender. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. detonated the first atomic bomb used in warfare over Hiroshima, Japan, a city with large military support facilities. Within a few minutes, nearly 100,000 people were dead. When Japan failed to offer unconditional surrender even then, a second atomic device was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9. (Had Japan not surrendered then a scramble would have been on — the U.S. had materials for about four more bombs, but they were not ready to go.)

1945 launched the world into the Atomic Age, by many accounts. The existence of atomic weaponry added to tensions on the planet played out during the Cold War. The creation of thermonuclear weapons, many times as powerful as a simple atomic bomb, only added to the tension. Perhaps we should call it the Atomic Angst Age.

Does that explain the fascination with photos of atomic blasts in recent days?

Wired’s online version noted the anniversary and included a slide show of atomic milestones, featuring a few blasts.

Then this post, from a blog named Picdit — “8 Insane Nuclear Explosions” rode the top of the popularity index of WordPress for the past couple of days. I’m not sure why these photos or the events they portray deserve to be called “insane.” I’m perplexed about why they are so popular.

These events around the creation, testing and use of nuclear arsenals resonate deeply with those of us who lived through any of these times. High school students have tested poorly on these issues during the past five years, however. Many of my history students do not know the significance of the classic mushroom cloud that marks an atomic blast.

I hope the curiosity is genuine curiosity for the historic events, that this curiosity leads to understanding of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, and that those tens of thousands who clicked on those images achieved an iota of understanding. I hope.

The First Bomb at Bikini, Charles Bittinger, 1946 - Captured at the peak of formation, this painting illustrates the classic mushroom cloud shape. The pink color of the cloud is due to the oxidation of nitrogen caused by high heat and radiation from the explosion. The rapidly cooling fireball is the cause of the red glow seen deep within the cloud. The blast wave created the massive waves and steam that engulfed the target fleet at the bottom.

The First Bomb at Bikini, Charles Bittinger, 1946 - "Captured at the peak of formation, this painting illustrates the classic mushroom cloud shape. The pink color of the cloud is due to the oxidation of nitrogen caused by high heat and radiation from the explosion. The rapidly cooling fireball is the cause of the red glow seen deep within the cloud. The blast wave created the massive waves and steam that engulfed the target fleet at the bottom." From the Naval Historical Center Art Collection

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