The world observes 63rd anniversary of nuclear bomb drop on Hiroshima

Posted Aug 6, 2008 by Chris V. Thangham
Hiroshima city marked the 63rd anniversary of the world's first nuclear bombing today. The Mayor plead with the U.S. to abolish nuclear weapons in the world.
Atomic Bomb
Picture taken of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
File: Photo courtesy U.S. Military
About 45,000 people, including the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and the Hiroshima City Mayor, attended the anniversary memorial for the dead. They offered special prayers at 8:15 a.m., the exact time in 1945 when a single nuclear bomb from the Enola Gay was dropped.
The bomb killed more than 140,000 people and tens of thousands of others suffered severe radiation burns.
Hiroshima's Mayor, Tadatoshi Akiba, doesn't want the incident to happen again and urged the United States (one of three countries that oppose a UN resolution submitted by Japan calling for a unilateral ban of nuclear arms) to endorse the ban.
He told the audience:
"We can only hope that the president of the United States elected this November will listen conscientiously to the majority, for whom the top priority is human survival."
Akiba said the impact of the bombings is still felt by the survivors, many of whom are over 75 years old now. The city plans to launch a study to understand the psychological impact of the experience.
"This study should teach us the grave import of the truth, born of tragedy and suffering, that the only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished."
Many children gathered in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome for a lantern march. The survivors burned incense before dawn broke.
An 11-year-old school girl named Honoka Imai told the service:
"Children who evacuated buildings or went to work at factories on that day have not returned 63 years on... the atomic bomb deprived them of normal life."
Most countries have attended the ceremony via their representatives, but the U.S., Britain, France and North Korea have never attended the ceremony, and all of them have a nuclear arsenal.
Three days from now, Nagasaki will have a similar service to mark the anniversary of the day the bomb was bombed on its city in August 9, 1945. That bomb killed 70,000 people.
Since the bomb was first dropped more than 60 years ago, many countries such as Pakistan, India, Israel and others have developed nuclear bombs. The world is also seeing mounting pressure from the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia and Iran are also said to want their own bombs.
The nuclear bombs of today are hundreds or thousands of times more powerful that the Atom Bomb dropped during World War 2.
The Telegraph, U.K., has more pictures here from the anniversary.