Seventy-two years ago today, the United States became the first and only country to use nuclear weapons during warfare. The bomb “Little Boy” was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th, while the bomb “Fat Man” was used on the Japanese city of Nagasaki three days later. Between both bombings, an estimated total of 129,000 Japanese citizens were killed, an indeterminable number more poisoned with radiation that would continue to affect the rest of their lives and those of their descendents.
The rationale for using these weapons almost a century later is still under consideration. Many argue that nuclear weapons were necessary because many more thousands would have died if the Americans had invaded Japan. Others claim that surrender was under consideration by Japanese generals and that the Emperor of Japan wanted peace.
Regardless of what side of the debate you fall, there is no questioning that these weapons cause damage stretching over generations. There is no defense against a nuclear bomb. We have yet to fully understand the impact that such weapons cause to not only the victims of these bombings, but also the damage done to the environment. Looking back all these years later, the question remains: are nuclear weapons a reminder of scientific achievement? Or, are they cause for remembrance of its victims? Thus, further provoking deep thought on the nature of weaponry and the extent to which countries will go to claim victory on a world stage fraught with uncertainty.
As discussions about nuclear war infiltrate the news and media, it is more important now than ever to remember that the impact of the first use, is still being felt.
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