I read tonight on how Japan's military might was largely depleted and the nation was considering surrendering before the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. An estimate 105,000 lives were lost without good cause, if this is true.
If it is true.
If our leaders knew this, knew that surrender was imminent, then Hiroshima-Nagasaki becomes one of history's great atrocities, one of its great war crimes. It becomes one of the most important things to be taught in our school classrooms. It is said, Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. We should know of what happened. If this is the way history did come down -- if Japan was about to surrender -- what happened should be considered one of the more important things we learn in our history classes, lest, otherwise, we repeat what appears to have been an enormous tragedy.
If Japan was going to surrender anyway, the bombing was wrong.
But, whether we see that bombing and war, in general, as necessary, we must surely lament the price. I think also on the tragedy of World War II, in whole. I marvel at how many lives were lost (more than 60 million). If the number killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was great, then ponder on all the blood it took that the total bill came to more than 60 million lives.
I think also of the loss from traditional bombings, and of how great that was. I think of Dresden, Germany, where two or three days of bombing claimed maybe 25,000 lives. That is a lot. It is almost a quarter of the number who were killed by the only nuclear weapon ever used in a war.
War is not kind. It is often necessary, but it is never kind.
(Blog was added to and edited on 9/21/15.)