65 years ago today, the world entered the age of nuclear weapons. Ban Ki Moon is in Hiroshima, along, for the first time, a U.S. government official, for a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima. From UN News Center:
Standing shoulder to shoulder with survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima, a deeply moved Secretary-General on Friday paid respect to all those who perished there 65 years ago and stressed that the time has come to realize the dream of a world free of nuclear weapons.
“A more peaceful world can be ours,” Ban Ki-moon said in remarks to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony held in Japan.
Mr. Ban, the first UN Secretary-General to take part in the ceremony, was one year old when the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, resulting in the deaths of more than 200,000 people.
More than 400,000 more people have died – and are continuing to die – since the end of the Second World War from the impacts of those bombs.
“Only later in life could I begin to understand the full dimension of all that happened here,” said the UN chief.
Mr. Ban has made nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation a top priority, and put forward a five-point plan in 2008 that includes recommendations on increasing security, verification, establishing a legal framework for nuclear disarmament, transparency and conventional weapons.
“Our moment has come,” he said, noting recent progress on the issue, including new leadership from the most powerful nations, new engagement in the Security Council, and new energy from civil society.
On an anniversary like this it is important to remember the thousands of innocent victims of this bombing. This woman was in junior high when the Enola Gay released “little boy” above her city.