Today, August 6th, marks the sixty-fourth anniversary of the American atomic attack on Hiroshima, which lead to the Japanese surrender nine days later and ushered in the nuclear age. The blast instantly killed a staggering 70,000 people, injured that same number, lead to countless deaths by leukemia and other cancers, and destroyed 69% of the city's buildings. Heavy shit.
I crawled out of bed at 8 AM to watch the yearly Hiroshima memorial service on the national broadcasting network, which culminated in the ringing of a bell and a minute of silence at 8:15. Someone who may have been Prime Minister Aso made a speech that, strikingly, ended with a hearty English shout-out for the world to remember the bombing, hasten nuclear disarmament, and Obamafy the nation. I am not making this last part up. As well-intentioned as this evocation of our president may have been, I found the obfuscated verb form shameless and slightly demeaning, and went back to sleep.
Take time out to remember the day. A hell of a lot more people died in this attack than on September 11th.