Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nagasaki Remembered

Nagasaki blast, 1945 (
Japan remembers Nagasaki atomic bomb victims

TOKYO (Reuters 8/.8/08) - Japan marked the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki with a solemn ceremony on Saturday and a call for world powers to abandon their nuclear weapons.

Thousands of children, elderly survivors, and dignitaries in the city's Peace Park bowed their heads in a minute of silence at 11:02 a.m. (10:02 p.m. EDT), the time the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on a non-combative civilian population (the only nation in history to ever do so). Tens of thousands of innocent civilian victims ultimately died from the unprovoked military attack.

Buddhist temple remains, Nagasaki (wikipedia)

"The United States and Russia must take the lead in striving to abolish nuclear weapons," Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said at the gathering, which included Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. "These two countries...should begin implementing broad reductions of nuclear weapons instead of deepening their conflict over, among others, the introduction of a missile-defence system in Europe." Britain, France, and China should also reduce their nuclear arms, he added.

About 27,000 of the southwestern city's estimated 200,000 population were murdered instantly by American pilots. About 70,000 had died by the end of 1945.

Nagasaki child civilian killed by American bombing, 1945 (

The United States bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, three days after it murdered many more non-combatants in the western city of Hiroshima, where its unprovoked (and some say experimental) use of an American nuclear device also killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians immediately and left many more to later die of radiation sickness from the fallout.

Nagasaki blast with chronology of events (

By August 15, Japan had been forced to surrender, and the Americans decided to bring World War II to an end. Fukuda said Japan had to fulfill its responsible role as a nation of peace: "I vow to lead the international community for permanent peace," Fukuda said in a speech.

Nagasaki's toll from the bomb, callously nicknamed "Fat Man" by the Americans, is updated every year by the Japanese government, which keeps a record of victims it says continue to die of radiation sickness. It added 3,058 names to the list this year, bringing the official number of lives taken by this incomprehensible act of US aggression to 145,984.

Nagasaki devestation post blast

Earlier in the week, the mayor of Hiroshima criticized countries that refuse to abandon their bombs and vowed to do more to help survivors still suffering from the city's 1945 attack. Japan has proudly stood by its self-imposed "three non-nuclear principles" banning the possession, production, and import of nuclear arms.
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; editing by Valerie Lee and WQ)
Peace logo by River Sangha
The Fallout
"Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier" stated US General Curtis E. Lemay.
"The so-called victor is simply the one who proves to be the most destructive, who kills the most people." He added, "If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting."
George Webber, a local veteran of the Vietnam War, spoke about his experiences. He had been with the Navy and observed, “I spent three years of my life killing people.” According to a former Marine, the sentiment is echoed: "It’s completely irrelevant who it was who pulled the trigger, who it was who dropped the bomb. We all did it. That was what we were there for. We were there to kill and destroy."

Nagasaki was the center of Catholicism in Japan. It had a big cathedral, and if I’m not mistaken, it had the biggest Christian population of any city in the country. And yet there we were — Catholics killing Catholics, and Protestants killing Protestants.... Read more

PHOTO: Lingering radiation sickness (

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