Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein and other scientists wrote a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging him to support the construction of an atomic bomb out of fear that Nazi Germany would develop one first.
On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked ships and planes at the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,300 U.S. soldiers and sailors were killed. Every year the U.S. remembers this military “day that will live in infamy”.
On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany signed the Instrument of Surrender.
On August 6, 1945 at 8:15 am (2315 GMT) the U.S. military detonated an atomic bomb on the Japanese civilian city of Hiroshima. This was followed on August 9 at 11:02 am (0202 GMT) by the detonation of another atomic bomb on the civilian city of Nagasaki. The U.S. had tested these bombs and were well aware of the immediate destruction it would cause.
The U.S. has never apologised for this attack on civilians, who the Japanese call “hibakusha”. To date I can not recall any U.S. memorials for the civilian victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on broadcast radio, television, or print during this time of year.
In an interview with the BBC in 2010, the last surviving member of the crew that dropped Little Boy, Flight Navigator Lieutenant Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk said, “I would hope that atomic bombs will never again be used, for any reason.”
I am a Reformed Christian and believe in Just War Theory. I am also a U.S. military veteran and I love my country, however, I feel we need to always remember this U.S. atrocity on civilian men, women, and children and offer a formal apology to Japan for this horror (I acknowledge that this is a matter of debate).