Hiroshima – 64 years ago today

Hiroshima – 64 years ago today

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Here’s my photoset of Hiroshima and the Peace Park museum, today is the 64th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima… I’ve been there a few times, it’s an amazing city, vibrant, modern – and a reminder that we are the only species that we know of that has developed the means to completely wipe itself out, it’s a lot to think about.

The United States, in collaboration with the United Kingdom and Canada designed and built the first atomic bombs under what was called the Manhattan Project. The scientific research was directed by American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The nuclear weapon “Little Boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed on August 9 by the detonation of the “Fat Man” nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.

The paper birds above are for Sadako Sasaki

Ten years after the bombing, a young Japanese girl called Sadako Sasaki died from leukemia caused by radiation from the blast. Before she died, however, Sadako folded almost a thousand origami paper cranes. Sadako began her project because of a legend that said anyone who folded a thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. She wished to healthy again so that she could run and play like before, and she pursued her goal with such determination that, although she died of her disease, she succeeded in transforming the paper crane into a symbol of peace for children all over the world. After Sadako’s death, children joined together to raise money for a peace park in Hiroshima, and a statue of Sadako holding a crane. Today there is also a small peace park with a statue of Sadako in Seattle, Washington, and children everywhere fold origami paper cranes in her memory and send them to Japan and Seattle threaded on long strings to be draped over the statue. Sadako’s story is used to teach children about the consequences of war, and the power of individuals to bring about change.

Also, check out…
Boston.com’s photoset.
A review of Dr. Atomic, a opera about building the first nuke.
Hiroshima: Memoir of a Bomb Maker … “The Gadget”

14 thoughts on “Hiroshima – 64 years ago today

  1. Ookseer says:

    Hiroshima is the only place that I universally recommend people visit. It’s a stunning, humbling, inspiring place that has no equal on the planet. Despite the horror that was brought there, history is still quite literally alive there. Near ground zero is a grove of trees that still have burn marks from the nuclear detonation.

    Much to my surprise, despite the awfulness that happened there I found it hopeful and uplifting. The memorials and museum at ground zero are beautiful and understated. It’s not trying to make you feel guilt for being human, almost the reverse. The park is full of school children and the hundreds of thousands of hand-folded cranes show the thoughtfulness and good will that people around the world are sending. And the people of Hiroshima are some of the nicest, warmest people I have met anywhere. The overwhelming thought that I took away from a visit was “How can I make the world a better place?”

  2. Phillip Torrone says:

    @Ookseer – thank your for sharing that, that’s pretty much how i’ve felt about it as well.

  3. joe says:

    There have been species that have actually wiped themselves out. For example, evolutionary suicide has almost certainly happened in the wild, but it has been shown to happen in the laboratory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_suicide

    So, actually, given about 2 minutes of research on Wikipedia and reading the linked research paper, it’s easy to show that least one other species (Myxococcus xanthus) has, through selection, developed the means of wiping itself out.

    1. Phillip Torrone says:

      hey joe… please re-read my post:

      “we are the only species that we know of that has developed the means to completely wipe itself out”

      *developed* – animals as far as we know have not “developed any means” for anything, they’re responding to environmental changes, etc. that is evolution and very different. we did not evolve nukes, we made them, they were not a useful horn or claw that grew millions of years – i would agree animal could evolve to wipe themselves out, but that’s not “developing the means”.

      even the wikipedia article you linked to is pretty clear:

      “As such, evolutionary suicide remains a theoretical possibility. Very few studies have actually demonstrated it, either in the laboratory or in nature, but this is due to the difficulties associated with observing the exact causes of an extinction”.

      but since this is the comments, i’ll be even more clear… we are the only species that we know of that has developed the technology to completely wipe itself out.

      how’s that?

      1. joe says:

        It’s pretty clear that developed can be used to describe evolutionary changes.

        As for “develop[ing] the technology”, well, we’re the only species to develop any kind of advanced technology, so that’s pretty much a given.

      2. jdege says:

        Clear, but completely trite. If there is no other identified species capable of developing anything, then there is little merit in comparing humankind as the only species capable of developing the means to obliterate itself to… what? Aliens?

        For this statement to have meaning you must grant that other species have had the possibility or capability of developing such means and either chose not to or failed to.

  4. household says:

    Here’s another peace memorial. This will break your heart.


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