I just finished reading George Takei’s graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy, about his experience in the Japanese internment camps during WWII. The graphic novel was an emotional rollercoaster, but the part that stood out to me the most was when the radio broadcasted the news of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the families in the camps. The first time I read, “There is reason to believe the Japanese city of Hiroshima no longer exists,” I was truly horrified.
It was such a vague, yet gruesome description. I was compelled to do my own research on it and the more I looked, the more I was terrified. On August 6, 1945, the first ever atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The moment it was detonated, there was a bright flash of light and every building within a 1 sq mile was immediately flattened or destroyed. People exposed to the light of the explosion faced third degree burns because of the immense heat. Buildings within a 4 sq mile area would burn for days because of fires from the explosion. People within a close enough distance to the bomb were vaporized, and others further away were still burned alive, crushed by buildings, or later died because of radiation poisoning. Approximately 80,000 people died right after the explosion and tens of thousands more later on because of the radiation. And then just three days later a bomb of similar magnitude was dropped on Nagasaki. These facts alone should terrify you. This is what it would’ve been like if you were in Hiroshima when the explosion happened. Nuclear weapons are extremely powerful, both physically and mentally. They are strong enough to level entire cities and all that’s needed is one bomb. And as of this year, there are about 12,700 nuclear warheads still in use. Some of which are as powerful, if not more, as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now you may be thinking, nuclear weapons won’t affect you if you happened to be far away. But you’re wrong. One small nuclear war could plunge us into a nuclear winter and destroy human civilization. And what’s even scarier is that the ones with the weapons and tension are likely to go to war with each other. For example, the Cuban Missile crisis. A misunderstanding could have caused a full out nuclear war between the two countries with the most nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons aren’t just an issue for people that possess them, it affects everyone worldwide. At the end of the day, who is really winning the war if everyone perishes? We need to push for the complete denuclearization of the world. Although we have gotten rid of some of them, it’s not enough. We need to get rid of all of them, otherwise it may be the first thing we reach for in a war and end human civilization.