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An atomic bomb was used in warfare for the first time on August 6th 1945. The American B29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the bomb on the city of Hiroshima in western Japan, instantly killing around 80,000 people and leaving nearly double that number dead from the longer-term effects of radiation sickness. The city of Hiroshima holds a Peace Memorial Ceremony each year on August 6th to commemorate the victims of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and subsequently on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. The occasion is marked by prayers for world peace, and is attended by the families of those killed and by visitors from around the world. It is 20 years since I first visited the city, and the image of the outlines of bodies on pavements annihilated by the heat from the bomb, as well as the A-bomb tower shown in the photograph, remain etched on my memory.




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