Hiroshima Observes 63rd Anniversary of Atomic Bombing

HarpBlaster.com News Wire

HIROSHIMA, Japan, Aug. 6, 2008 — Hiroshima residents today observed the 63rd anniversary of the city’s atomic bombing in the closing weeks of World War II — the first time such a weapon was used during war.

At 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, the city was leveled when the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb known as “Little Boy” on the city. The bomb detonated about 1,900 feet above the former Industrial Promotion Hall, today known as the A-Bomb Dome.

Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, leading to the end of World War II.

“Now, on the occasion of this 63rd anniversary Peace Memorial Ceremony, we offer our heartfelt lamentations for the souls of the atomic bomb victims and, in concert with the city of Nagasaki and with citizens around the world, pledge to do everything in our power to accomplish the total eradication of nuclear weapons,” Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said.

The city has been rebuilt, and today, the shell of the old Industrial Promotion Hall is the center of Peace Memorial Park. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Across the street is the Flame of Peace, a flame that will be extinguished when all nuclear weapons have been eliminated.

“Because the effects of that atomic bomb, still eating away at the minds and bodies of the hibakusha, have for decades been so underestimated, a complete picture of the damage has yet to emerge. Most severely neglected have been the emotional injuries,” Akiba said in announcing that the city “is initiating a two-year scientific exploration of the psychological impact of the A-bomb experience.”

“This study should teach us the grave import of the truth, born of tragedy and suffering, that ‘the only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished,'” the mayor added.

“Scientists and other nuclear-related experts exploring the damage from a postulated nuclear attack found once again that only way to protect citizens from such an attack is the total abolition of nuclear weapons,” Akiba said. “This is precisely why the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Court of Justice advisory opinion state clearly that all nations are obligated to engage in good-faith negotiations leading to complete nuclear disarmament.”

IMAGE CAPTION: The Industrial Promotion Hall was completed on April 5, 1915, and was located near the bomb’s hypo-center. It is one of the few buildings to survive the blast. Historic photographs of the city show a landscape flattened by the blast, with just a few structures still standing — one being the shell of the Industrial Promotion Hall. But, the building is just one of a few important landmarks dedicated to Aug. 6, 1945. (HarpBlaster.com News Wire)

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