'Little Boy' Reminds the World of Unnecessary Atrocities
Today Hiroshima is mourning the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city by United States forces during World War II.
Nuclear weapon Little Boy's blinding blast and its infamous mushroom cloud doomed the lives of nearly 140,000 people, including women, children and many elderly on August 6, 1945.
Three days after that, a second bomb was dropped in the southern port city of Nagasaki, killing over 70,000 japanese civilians. This led to the definitive surrender of Japan.
The bombs were supposedly dropped on japanese soil as a response on a japanese attack on the United States' naval base at Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), which had taken place on December 7, 1941. The japanese attack killed some 2,500 people and wounded over a thousand. Many theories have since surfaced regarding the previous knowledge the Roosevelt administration might have had of the attack.
Regardless of this, the US attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the end of World War II, but also the start of the Atomic Age.
64 years later, 50,000 people, including atom bomb survivors (referred to as hibakusha), politicians, the United Nations and representatives from 59 countries, gathered at the A-bomb Dome, which is the remains of a hall badly burned by the bomb's intense heat, to remember the tragedy but also to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons worldwide.
Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba delivered a peace declaration, calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020.
"The hibakusha still suffer a hell that continues," said Akiba.
"The Japanese government should support hibakusha, including those who were victims of black rain and those who live overseas," he said.
It was reported Wednesday that the Japanese government aims to come to an agreement with all atomic bomb survivors who have sued the government for financial support to help them pay medical bills for illnesses related to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
At exactly 8:15am (the moment the bomb was dropped in 1945) everyone at the memorial ceremony prayed silently for the japanese victims, and for all those who have developed radiation exposure-related diseases.
Prime Minister Taro Aso, also present at the ceremony, said Japan will maintain its three non-nuclear pledges of not possessing, not producing and not allowing nuclear weapons. However, he doubts that the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons is realistic: "It might be possible... if they were abolished suddenly, on one day in one go (...) but under normal circumstances it is unimaginable."