It is a well-known fact that the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 (Selden 22). Historians agree that the explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused enormous damage and claimed the greatest number of human lives in the history of humanity (Bernard 499). Seventy-one years after the bombing, people know almost everything about nuclear weapons and terrible consequences of their use. Therefore, the world is now so concerned about the issue of nuclear disarmament. It is believed that all historical events have a tendency to repeat themselves. In order to avoid such terrible events and prevent the use of nuclear weapons, modern Americans and other nations should know about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is necessary to appreciate peace and the new era that protects human lives and rights. This paper explores the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and discusses why it is important to know about this tragedy.
The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the first and the only case of the use of nuclear weapons in the world. The consequences of this bombing were catastrophic. In Hiroshima, 66,000 people were killed, and approximately 69,000 were injured; in Nagasaki, 39,000 individuals were killed, and 25,000 were injured (Wittner 34).
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a very controversial issue nowadays. Most Americans believe that the surrender of Japan as a result of the atomic bombing allowed the government to prevent an attack on the US territory and avoid many millions of both American and Japanese victims (Saito 363). However, this reason is unconvincing considering the number of Hiroshima as well as Nagasaki victims and sufferings they experienced.
According to the survey, on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 56% of Americans justify the atomic bombing, while only 34% of them disapprove of this atrocity (Selden 28). This suggests that not all individuals are aware of the dangers of nuclear weapons (Reyes). However, according to Milan, many scientists’ opinions on the necessity of bombing the Japanese cities during World War II are also mixed (33).
Some American historians believe that the fact that the atomic bombing saved about a million American soldiers is just a myth (Cirincione 87). Others believe that the landing on the Japanese territory and the attack on Americans claimed more lives (Falk 768). However, everyone agrees that the bombs could have been dropped not on the densely populated areas and rice fields, thus avoiding a huge number of dead and wounded (Wilson 165). The same effect would have been achieved, and Japan would have agreed to surrender. However, as some scientists say, the atomic bombs were not only a means of intimidation but also a kind of an experiment (Falk 781).
America managed to escape the invasion which might have taken hundreds of thousands of lives (Wittner 98). It does not mean that people can morally justify the atomic bombings that destroyed the two Japanese cities (Reyes). Since then, there has not been such a terrible event in the world. It is necessary to understand that atomic weapons may lead to very adverse and catastrophic consequences. Everyone should hope that this will never happen again (Sell). All countries should cooperate to avert such tragedies in the future. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that it is extremely important to realize that nuclear weapons bring many sufferings and ruin people’s lives. They certainly helped the world to prevent the massive atomic conflict that was likely to occur.
The Importance of Knowing About the Tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
A few years before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the British and American strategists believed that the destruction of the entire cities was a legitimate tool in the fight against Germany and Japan (Wilson 173). Incendiary bombs dropped on Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, and other cities led to losses comparable with the results of the atomic bombings in Japan (Wittner 102). This strategy shows the ideals and morals of the 20th century. The 21st century should be radically different from the previous century in order not to experience the horrors that reigned at that time.
People say that without knowing the past, one will not know the future. This statement is completely true. If people today are aware of the disastrous consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and remember what harm it may cause to the whole world, then humanity will not repeat such mistakes in the future.
The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the example of cruelty as well as the crime against humanity. Therefore, it is extremely important to remember and know about this event. Currently, there are different opinions on the bombing of the two Japanese cities. Some individuals think that this step was necessary as it helped to save many Americans, while others believe that it was a kind of an experiment because the atomic bombs could have been dropped on not so densely populated areas. However, all people agree that the atomic weapon is a horrible invention of humanity, capable of taking millions of lives. Similar bombings could occur in the future if people forget about the devastating effect of this weapon. The countries should cooperate with each other in order not to repeat past mistakes.