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Friday, August 7, 2015

A Holocaust Of Horror

Hiroshima bombing aftermath
"I have set before you life and death, therefore choose life, that you and your children may live."
- Deuteronomy 30:19

Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of the use of the first atomic weapon, dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945.

This deadly bomb resulted in the immediate killing of some 70,000 men, women and children, to be followed by an equal number experiencing terrible deaths from burns and radiation poisoning in the days immediately following. The estimated deaths from later victims of cancer raised the total losses to some 300,000.

Nagasaki suffered similar casualties in its bombing three days later.

When aerial bombing of civilian targets with conventional weapons were first carried out during the Spanish Civil War less than a decade earlier, the world was horrified. But with multiple saturation bombings of cities during the Second World War, we became numb to news of massive civilian holocausts of this kind.

In that sense, Hitler won. We became like the worst of him, condoning the use of whatever inhumane means necessary to achieve national ends.

Since the end of the Cold War and the implementation of the START treaty, we have largely forgotten the threat that still hangs over us, especially if nuclear weapons were to ever get into the hands of groups or nations bent on our destruction. We have also forgotten that the world still has stockpiles of weapons that could destroy our planet and all life on it several times over.

May God help us remember, and to beat our terrible swords into plowshares before it is too late.

Here's a link to the August 31, 1946 New Yorker article that detailed the horror of Hiroshima.

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