Hiroshima marked the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city today with a ceremony attended by about 50,000 people. The United States, with the consent of the United Kingdom as described in Quebec Agreement, dropped an A-bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. When Japan failed to surrender, the United States dropped another bomb on the city of Nagasaki three days later.
Today’s ceremony attendees mourned the victims of the bombing and renewed a pledge for peace in a memorial ceremony held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
In the peace declaration, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui yearned for action toward the complete abolition of nuclear weapons and international cooperation, quoting from the statement made by U.S. President Barack Obama when he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima in May.
Obama this year became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, and he urged all countries with nuclear power, including his own, to have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.
Today, with some distance of time and perspective, we can think about Hiroshima with a more balanced compassion than before. It has become possible to reflect on not only the justification for the first dropping of an atomic bomb on a populated city, but also on how that impacted the many thousands of people caught up in the blast and its aftermath.
It was a bombing American hearts decided was justified — but which minds have largely disconnected from in terms of consequences for humanity. This was evident when the current Republican candidate for President allegedly questioned why we don’t use our nuclear weapons for a third time.
Next year, either Donald Trump or Hillary Rodham Clinton will receive the nuclear control room from President Obama. Either one of seemingly the two most controversial people in modern U.S. political history is going be in charge of our nuclear codes, a certain outcome of this election we should be most concerned about.