This month marks the anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The debate as to whether “the bomb” should have been dropped in the…

This month marks the anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The debate as to whether “the bomb” should have been dropped in the first place continues today. Years ago my history teacher showed us the animated film adaptation of the Barefoot Gen manga series. I have never forgotten how horrific it was to see the nuclear attack depicted on screen, even as an animation. When I saw a documentary containing footage of the actual aftermath (footage made only days after the bombings), I couldn’t sleep soundly for days and was just terrified by the mere possibility of such devastation. Documentaries and films of that nature show what propaganda often hides: the immediate emotional and physical devastation that accompanies nuclear destruction. It is important that they are shown for they are reminders of what the use of such bombs could incur. Though yes, nuclear weapons are “only” one means of destruction humanity has conceived, they are the type of weapons that are most pervasive (there are more nuclear weapons states today than there were during the Cold War) and arguably the most destructive. It is not fully clear what the motivations of certain nations (or rather, leaders) are in developing nuclear weapons or continuing to have them, but it is at least clear what the detonation of these weapons can do. I hope that this movement towards nuclear disarmament (which appears to be gaining momentum) achieves something fruitful. Even if we rid the world of nuclear arms, the information on building them might still exist (just as samples of smallpox, which has been eradicated, allegedly remains). Maybe world leaders should take that into consideration. – Allyson

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