Today marks the 75th anniversary since Hiroshima became victim to the world’s first nuclear attack blast, where an estimated 135,000 people were killed in the explosion or died from radiation later. 

This morning, the anniversary ceremony, downsized due to the global pandemic, took place at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park. The memorial, visited by more than a million people each year, was built on an open field that was created by the blast.

In the ceremony, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with the mayor of Hiroshima, and survivors of the tragedy marked the anniversary with a moment of silence, prayers and flowers, honouring those who died 75 years ago.

“Many lives were stolen after the atomic bomb. When I think about that, while I’m alive, in order to pray for peace, people who are alive need to know and study (what happened) and teach our grandchildren,” Satoe Nakahara, who lost family members in the Hiroshima attack, told Sky News.

The deadly blast 

At 8:15 AM local time on 6 August 1945, towards the end of World War II, a US bomber dropped the atomic bomb above the city of Hiroshima. A few days later, on August 9th, the same occured the city of Nagasaki. 

The tragic Hiroshima and Nagasaki events resulted in instant deaths, injuries, and radiation sickness that followed in the months and years later.

After Japan finally surrendered on 15 August 1945, five square miles of Hiroshima and a total of 92% of the city’s structures were either damaged or destroyed by flames. Approximately 22.7% of Nagasaki’s buildings were also consumed by the blast.

SOURCE: Sky News Five square miles of Hiroshima flattened

READ MORE: Devastating Explosion Rocks Port of Beirut

The hibakusha

Now, 75 years later and with every year passing by, there are less and less of the hibakusha, a word that describes Japan’s atomic bombings survivors.

To mark the 75th anniversary, the hibakushas and various news outlets are sharing their stories online. Setsuko Thurlow is one survivor that shared her painful memories online.

DW News shared the story of Sadako Sasaki, the 2 year old girl who died ten years later from the exposure to the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The girl became a symbol for the effects of nuclear war on the innocent, and was remembered for the origami cranes that Sadako folded before her death.

The recent explosion

Coincidently, this year’s anniversary comes less than 48 hours since the world witnessed the horrific Beirut’s explosion, now linked to an ample supply of potentially unsecured explosive material.

The Spectator Index compared the recent Beirut’s explosion to the Hiroshima tragedy, stating that Beirut’s explosion was a tenth of the intensity of the nuclear bomb at Hiroshima.

Featured Image Credit: Al Jazeera U.S. Army via Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/AP Photo

Berta Balsyte