Thursday will mark the 64th anniversary since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, obliterating most of the Japanese city and directly killing more than 80,000 people. Within a few months, another 50,000 would die from injuries or radiation poisoning.
Three days after the initial strike, a second atomic bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki, ultimately killing roughly another 80,000 people. So far, the bombings represent the only use of nuclear weapons during warfare.
Using nuclear weapons is unconscionable to many people nowadays, and historians still debate whether their use was necessary to avoid the mass casualties that would occur if Allied Forces attempted a ground invasion, as claimed by President Truman.
A local remembrance ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park. After opening remarks, participants will follow a candlelit path through the park to commemorate the bombings and hope they aren’t repeated.
The International Justice and Peace Center sponsors the annual event to draw attention to the horrors associated with nuclear weapons.
“The nuclear threat is still with us,” said Sister Alice Gerdeman, a center official. “Humanity cannot afford to forget the suffering we are capable of inflicting. Each year we remember and pledge to work for world peace and a safe environment. We also recall the positive moves society makes. There are signs of hope.”
The park is located at 1101 Eastern Ave., along the Ohio River’s shore.