Thousands of Japanese people and foreign guests and activists gathered Wednesday in Hiroshima to mark the 63rd anniversary of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the southwestern Japanese city.
At a memorial ceremony held in the morning at the city's peace park, attendees observed one minute of silence at 8:15 a.m. (2315 GMT), the time the atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima 63 years ago, killing nearly 100,000 people in a blink.
We are taught that the dropping of the Atomic bombs was justified because it ended the war, but the historical reality was that as early as June 1945 Japan was already sending diplomatic signals that it wished to negotiate an end to the war. The United States signaled that Japan was to surrender unconditionally, and Japan insisted that while the military was prepared to do so, certain protections were required for the civilian non-combatants, and the Emperor was to be left untouched.
Truman decided to drop the bombs apparently to prove to the world not only that we had such weapons, but had the political will (i.e. were crazy enough) to use them.
Hiroshima was bombed 63 years ago today using the uranium-cannon bomb "Little Boy". Japan immediately sent a message of surrender. Two days later the plutonium-implosion bomb "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki, apparently with the goal of reassuring the world that Hiroshima had not been some kind of one-time-only trick.
Japan surrendered, and as had originally been requested, protections were put in place for the civilian population, and Emperor Hirohito remained as titular head of Japan, spending his remaining years working to improve Japanese agricultural methods and rebuilding Japan's industrial base.