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Reviving America’s Nuclear Culture

By Michael Auslin (original source City Journal)

“Of all the exhibits of horror in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum—twisted bicycles, melted eyeglasses, burned rubble—one stopped me in my tracks. It was a small section of wall and steps. On it, a dark half-oval is burned into the stone, with vertical shading on the steps. It is the silhouette of a human being, vaporized by the atomic explosion on August 6, 1945.

At 8:15 a.m., most of downtown Hiroshima disappeared in a searing flash of light and a crushing blast of superheated air. At least 70,000 Japanese (including around 20,000
soldiers) were killed by the firestorm that incinerated the city’s wooden houses and buildings. Three days later, on August 9, the city of Nagasaki was similarly destroyed,
this time with the immediate death of around 40,000 civilians. Tens of thousands more would die in coming weeks and years from burns and radiation sickness.”

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