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Proclamation on National Atomic Veterans Day

Minute for Mission: Hiroshima Day

On the morning of August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m. above the city of Hiroshima, Japan, the unthinkable happened. A B-29 aircraft flew overhead, a parachute opened and then a flash, an enormous blast and then a deafening silence as a mushroom cloud of smoke, flame and destruction blotted out the sun and engulfed the landscape. The United States had deployed the world’s first atomic bomb, instantly killing over 80,000 people. Three days later, we did it again over the city of Nagasaki, killing another 40,000. These two bombings, arguably the most violent and destructive wartime acts in the course of human history, effectively ended the second World War. They also completely destroyed two cities and ended a multitude of predominantly civilian lives, tens of thousands of whom succumbed to radiation-related injuries and illness in the aftermath of the devastation.