On 6 August (The Feast of the Transfiguration) 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima in Japan. Three days later a second atomic bomb (“Fat Man”) was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. These are the only times nuclear weapons have been used in war.
In Hiroshima 13 square kilometres (5 square miles) of the city were destroyed. Almost 63% of the buildings in Hiroshima were completely destroyed after the bombing and nearly 92% of the structures in the city had been either destroyed or damaged by blast and fire.
Estimates of total deaths in Hiroshima have generally ranged between 100,000 and 180,000, out of a population of 350,000. Casualties from Nagasaki are thought to be between 50,000 and 100,000.
Fr Chris writes:
I have been struck for many years now about the coincidence that Hiroshima Day and the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord fall on the same day.
We read in the Gospels of the wonderful moment that the “inner-group” of disciples (Peter, James and John) could see Christ in glory. They had a glimpse of the glory which awaited our Lord. They heard the voice from heaven saying, “This is my Son, listen to him!” – and this strengthened and sustained their faith.
Dazzling light helps the disciples to see Christ in glory, and as we remember Hiroshima we cannot help but see an intense light which wreaks havoc and destruction. The light of nuclear explosion also reveals the ability of humanity to destroy, kill and maim.
On Sunday evening, 6th August, we will mark Hiroshima Day with special prayers and readings. Those who have suggested resources write…
“As Christians, we are called to work for peace. And so, we appeal for peace not as a political issue, but as a human one. Our awareness of this call is influenced by the horrors inflicted by nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These resources have been put together for use in services to remember those affected by nuclear weapons dropped on Japan, and to provide space to reflect on our own calling towards peace in the world today.”