Remembering the Atrocities of Hiroshima

A couple of years ago, I saw Hiroshima, Mon Amour, a 1959 French film set in Hiroshima, Japan following the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. I had learned a very sanitized version of the bombings in school, but I don’t recall ever seeing the effects of the bombing, i.e. the large-scale destruction of life and the desolation of the survivors. Prior to watching Hiroshima, Mon Amour, I had not heard of the bombings in any personalized way. Suffice it to say that the film left an impression.

A couple of months ago, I visited Montreal, Quebec and spent an afternoon at the Botanical Garden. I spent the majority of my time that afternoon in the Japanese Garden. I trailed through the meditation spaces, lingered over the bonsai trees and wept over the Hiroshima memorial of drawings by survivors. I’ve been wanting to share this for a while, but it’s been difficult to revisit my photographs and the personal stories they captured. However, the 70th anniversary of the murder of so many Japanese people seemed to be an appropriate time to share the images.

We should all work to eliminate the idea that we need to destroy others in order for some to live with their own ideas of freedom. Visit the City of Hiroshima web site for current information about the city.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Part of the Pacific War, World War II
Two aerial photos of atomic bomb mushroom clouds, over two Japanese cities in 1945.
Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)
Date August 6 and August 9, 1945
Location Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Japan
Commanders and leaders
United States William S. Parsons
United States Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
Empire of Japan Shunroku Hata
Units involved
Manhattan District: 50 U.S., 2 British
509th Composite Group: 1,770 U.S.
Second General Army:
Hiroshima: 40,000
Nagasaki: 9,000
Casualties and losses
20 U.S., Dutch, British prisoners of warkilled Hiroshima:

  • 20,000+ soldiers killed
  • 70,000–146,000 civilians killed

Nagasaki:

  • 39,000–80,000 killed

Total: 129,000–246,000+ killed

from Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

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