Thursday, 6 August 2009

On this day: August 6

I am not one who believes the lunar eclipse that took place in the early hours of this morning, August 6, 2009, is a portent of disaster. In fact, I hope we all have a lovely peaceful day. However, looking back in history, the sixth day in August has at times been anything but peaceful.

On this day in 1914, Serbia declared war on Germany and Austria declared war on Russia, two days after the UK declared war on Germany at the start of World War I. It was also the date of the First Battle of the Atlantic between German U-Boats and the Royal Navy.

But overshadowing that bloody battle and declarations of war, on August 6, 1945, in World War II, the Japanese city of Hiroshima was devastated by an atomic bomb. The bomb, called Little Boy, was dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Seventy thousand people were killed instantly and tens of thousands died later due to burns and radiation poisoning.

It was truly one of the most terrible events in the history of mankind.

Today in Japan, people will hold floating lantern ceremony in Hiroshima to remember those who died in the atomic blast. It is a good day for us to remember it too, and to try to make sure nothing like it ever happens again.


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