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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Unconditional Surrender

Today's History Lesson...Japanese Surrender

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor at 7:55 AM on December 7, 1941, it wasn’t the beginning of the end as the Japanese had planned but instead the beginning of retaliation. Having called for unconditional surrender of Japan under threat of "prompt and utter destruction" from the United States, the first atomic bomb, "Fat Boy", was dropped on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 in the final stages of WWII. The Japanese still did not surrender.

This Day in History: August 9, 1945

Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)
In spite of the devastation that ensued, the Japanese still were not convinced to accept the unconditional surrender proposed at the Potsdam Conference held in occupied Germany. As a result, three days later on August 9, 1945, a second atom bomb, "Fat Man", is dropped on Japan by the United States, at Nagasaki.

What may or may not be known is that General Leslie R. Groves estimated a third bomb would be ready to use against Japan by August 17 or 18—fortunately this was not necessary. Japan surrendered! But look at the cost for a surrender that could have occurred without such devastating blows.

History speaks for itself. Much has been written, even more has been said. What happened happened. No turning back. No wiping the slate clean. Concentration now should be on doing everything possible to avoid anything of this magnitude ever happening again. [The figures on the number of people who succumbed to the bombings depend upon the source of the data analysis. The numbers do vary and it is widely known the death toll expanded through the years following the initial blast.] Source: Retaliation

 "There are voices which assert that the bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate myself with such ideas. […] I am surprised that very worthy people—but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves—should adopt the position that rather than throw this bomb, we should have sacrificed a million American and a quarter of a million British lives."

Winston Churchill, leader of the Opposition, in a speech to the British House of Commons, August 1945

Which side would you debate?