Analysis & Opinions - Portland Press Herald

Listening to Atomic Bombing Survivors' Stories is More Important Than Ever

| Aug. 06, 2020

On the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima, we must understand the effects of nuclear weapons and debate their role in our society.

The morning of Aug. 6, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the world entering the nuclear age. From a clear blue sky, a B-29 dropped a bomb over the center of Hiroshima, Japan, killing 80,000 people immediately and approximately 100,000 people over the following months. Three days later, another bombing followed in Nagasaki, killing thousands more.

After 75 years, we as a society do not think much about the effect of the bombings on the men, women and children in those two unfortunate cities. We can learn about the devastation wrought by these weapons from the direct experience of the hibakusha, the Japanese word for the survivors of the two nuclear attacks. Many hibakusha travel around the world sharing what happened to them the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, or Aug. 9, 1945, and in the days and weeks and months and years after the bombings. They relive the horrors of seeing family members burned to death, crushed by falling buildings or eliminated instantaneously by the explosion....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Gibbons, Rebecca Davis.“Listening to Atomic Bombing Survivors' Stories is More Important Than Ever.” Portland Press Herald, August 6, 2020.

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