6th August is just around the corner. A normal day just like any other. However, 73 years ago it was not. It started as yet another desolate day of the World War II and very quickly spiraled into an even worse day.
The year was 1945, date 6th Aug, time 8:16 a.m. in Japan. The city of Hiroshima was getting into the rhythm of a day that was already heavily overcast with war. An American B-29 bomber flew over the city and dropped the first nuclear bomb. Known as the “Little Boy”, this bomb wrecked havoc the likes of which were never seen. What followed was a nightmare of gigantic proportions. As a result of the blast that shook the Earth approximately 80,000 people were killed. Another 35,000 were injured. And due to radiation exposure, almost 60,000 more died within the year.
According to history.com website –
- Prior to the dropping of the bomb, there were 90,000 buildings in Hiroshima. These were reduced to a mere28,000.
- The city had 200 doctors. However, only 20 were left capable of working.
- Of the 1,780 nurses, only 150 survived to take care of the sick and dying.
This fateful day of 6th Aug is celebrated as the “Hiroshima Day” every year. A ceremony is held in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, in front of the Memorial Cenotaph. The ceremony is attended by the families of the deceased people, locals, ambassadors, and dignitaries from many countries. Bells ring out from the temples and sirens wail in the city marking the exact time when the bomb was dropped. The citizens of Hiroshima observe a moment of solemn silence in remembrance to the horrors of this day.
In the evening, a “Peace Message Lantern Floating Ceremony” is held. Messages of harmony are written on paper lanterns which are then lit and set afloat on the Motoyasu River. These lanterns pass directly in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome.
Today, Hiroshima Day has become a focal point for anti-nuclear and anti-war demonstrations. This day is indeed hard to forget. However, it’s time to learn from the mistakes and not repeat them.
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