The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of its destruction by an atomic bomb, during a ceremony whose scale had been revised downward due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seventy-five years later, on Sunday, August 9, the Japanese city of Nagasaki celebrated its destruction by an American atomic bomb. Three days after the “Little Boy” bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Nagasaki was destroyed on 9 August 1945 by nuclear weapons.
These two bombs of destructive power that had never happened before brought Japan to its knees: on August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced to his subjects the surrender to the Allies, thus signing the end of World War II. .
On Sunday morning, a mass was said in memory of the victims in Urakami Church, near the site of the explosion, while other residents attended a ceremony in Peace Park.
The number of people allowed to participate had decreased by 90% compared to the figure for previous years. Those who wished, however, could follow the memorials live on TV.
“People today have about 13,000 atomic bombs”
Terumi Tanaka, 88, who was 13 on the day of the bombing, still remembers when everything turned white in a flash. “I saw many people with burns and terrible wounds evacuating already dead people to an elementary school turned into a refuge,” said the person who recently lost two aunts that day.
The survivors “believe that the world must give up nuclear weapons because we do not want the younger generations to experience the same thing”, Terumi Tanaka explained, while worrying about the public’s confidence that a nuclear bomb can never be dropped again.
“People today have about 13,000 atomic bombs. How can we allow that?” He asked. “People think we’ll never use it again. But you never know, you never know.”
The ceremonies to worry about North Korea’s nuclear program will continue, and relations between Washington and Beijing will continue to deteriorate.
The United States has never officially apologized
The atomic bomb killed about 140,000 people in Hiroshima. Many were killed immediately, and many more also died from their injuries or from radiation during the weeks and months that followed. The second American A-bomb, dropped on Nagasaki, killed 74,000 more.
Historians, however, continue to discuss whether this dual nuclear attack really saved more lives by speeding up the end of the conflict.
Many consider the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes, given the unprecedented scale of their devastation and the large number of civilian casualties.
The United States has never officially apologized. But in 2016, Barack Obama became the first incumbent US president to visit Hiroshima, where he paid tribute to the victims and called for a world without nuclear weapons.