Bombs Away! Forever!

At fifteen minutes past eight in the morning on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima. The rest is history and horrorstory.

65 years ago yesterday the first atomic bomb was detonated. Three weeks later John Hersey‘s “Hiroshima” was the first and last single story to fill a full issue of the New Yorker magazine.

“The New Yorker this week devotes its entire
editorial space to an article on the almost complete obliteration of a
city by one atomic bomb, and what happened to the people of that city.
It does so in the conviction that few of us have yet comprehended the
all but incredible destructive power of this weapon, and that everyone
might well take time to consider the terrible implications of its use.”

Yesterday’s annual Hiroshima Peace Ceremony was attended by the
largest number of official representatives, including the UN Secretary
General, Ban Kai-moon,  and for the first time ever, the United States
ambassador. A record 67 countries sent diplomatic representatives to
discuss the possibility of ending nuclear weapons. Hopefully, it is not
just lip service.

Let us remember this date and the hundreds of thousands who endured the
first atomic devastation 65 years ago. For a contemporary view, read
this beautiful elegy by Helen Walters.

 


About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone who wants to seriously comment on this issue should first read “Thank God for the Atom Bomb” (The New Republic – August 1981) by the distinguished essayist Paul Fussell.

    Extract:

    In general, the principle is, the farther from the scene of horror the easier the talk. One young combat naval officer close to the action wrote home m the fall of 1943, just before the marines underwent the agony of Tarawa: “When I read that we will fight the Japs for years if necessary and will sacrifice hundreds of thousands if we must, I always like to check from where he’s talking: it’s seldom out here.” That was Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy.

    http://croker.harpethhall.org/Must%20Know/History/AtomBombFussell.pdf

  2. Anyone who wants to seriously comment on this issue should first read “Thank God for the Atom Bomb” (The New Republic – August 1981) by the distinguished essayist Paul Fussell.

    Extract:

    In general, the principle is, the farther from the scene of horror the easier the talk. One young combat naval officer close to the action wrote home m the fall of 1943, just before the marines underwent the agony of Tarawa: “When I read that we will fight the Japs for years if necessary and will sacrifice hundreds of thousands if we must, I always like to check from where he’s talking: it’s seldom out here.” That was Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy.

    http://croker.harpethhall.org/Must%20Know/History/AtomBombFussell.pdf

  3. Anyone who wants to seriously comment on this issue should first read “Thank God for the Atom Bomb” (The New Republic – August 1981) by the distinguished essayist Paul Fussell.

    Extract:

    In general, the principle is, the farther from the scene of horror the easier the talk. One young combat naval officer close to the action wrote home m the fall of 1943, just before the marines underwent the agony of Tarawa: “When I read that we will fight the Japs for years if necessary and will sacrifice hundreds of thousands if we must, I always like to check from where he’s talking: it’s seldom out here.” That was Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy.

    http://croker.harpethhall.org/Must%20Know/History/AtomBombFussell.pdf