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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Horrors of Little Boy

On August 6th, 1945, the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. A simple enough statement but it doesn’t reveal the amount of destruction and devastation left on the many lives that were either lost or scarred forever. The mission in Hiroshima was hailed as a success. Three days after the attack on Hiroshima, the atom bomb, code named ‘little boy’, was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. This effectively signalled the end of the conflict with Japan, bringing about Japan's unconditional surrender.

Many justifications for the use of ‘little boy’ have been put forward. The war had already been the cause of millions of fatalities, while the oppressive axis regimes had killed off millions more – a good number from their own people. However, the question whether the bomb was the only solution still haunts us to this day. For, whether we like to admit it or not, the people who were most affected by the bomb were innocent civilians going about their daily life.

Only those who were there can tell us what the bombings were like. How they were affected by the infernal landscape that was left. How they were burned by the sudden dose of heavy radiation. How it would affect their health, and their future generations. Only they can tell this story. Yet, it’s easy to judge those who approved such military action. But then again, was dropping the bomb worth it?

I don’t have the answers. If I had lived during the Second World War witnessing days and days of the same suffering, my ideas would have been different. All the same, such decisions reveal the horrifying nature of war which forces us to place survival over respect for other people’s lives. In other words, war dehumanizes us to the point we lose compassion for the other. Undoubtedly, Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have been avoided. But history is now what it is.

All we can do now is to remember those whose lives were lost or blemished following the bombings. And hope, even in our troubled times, that these events don’t happen again. Even if, in truth, most of these decisions are made by those who lead us.

MORE INFORMATION:
Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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