In 1945, the US Government dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9. These bombs destroyed two cities and killed over 200,000 people due to nuclear radiation, shockwaves from the blasts and thermal radiation. Since the end of the war, over 400,000 people have died from the after-effects of the bombs.
These bombs were seen as militarily unwarranted by many. For example, Admiral William Leahy, President Harry S. Truman's Chief of Staff, wrote in his 1950 memoir that "the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…” (I Was There, p. 441).
In fact, proponents of the atomic bombings like Secretary of State James Byrnes were particularly interested in proving American military dominance in the post-war era as they prepared to face off with potential rivals like the USSR. Sacrificing hundreds of thousands of civilian lives was helped by a domestic atmosphere that let Time Magazine write during the war that “the ordinary unreasoning Jap is ignorant. Perhaps he is human. Nothing ... indicates it.”
The question facing those of us in the United States is, as sociologist Kai Erikson put it, "What kind of mood does a fundamentally decent people have to be in, what kind of moral arrangements must it make, before it is willing to annihilate as many as a quarter of a million human beings for the sake of making a point.”
The unimaginable barbarity of nuclear annihilation perpetuated by "our" own government has created scores of activists committed to ensuring that such barbarity never occurs again. Join with other peace activists in one of these upcoming events on Monday, August 6, 2018:
Hiroshima Remembrance Actions
(in Livermore) The rally deliberates on the disapproval against atomic bombings, border walls, and global warming. Join community groups to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at a place where new nuclear weapons are being created today.
Join San Jose WILPF and the Raging Grannies at the Peace Corner with signs and singing to remind commuters of the first atomic weapon used against innocent civilians 73 years ago.
(WILPF Peninsula and Palo Alto) Come to watch a film based on the failure of nuclear toxic waste disposal, which have been linked to numerous cases of rare cancers. Discussion after the film and light refreshments!!!