Hiroshima Survivors Recall the Bomb

Sixty years to the day Hiroshima, Japan, was incinerated in seconds by the first atomic bomb used in war, locals are full of determination that the world should never forget the atrocities of nuclear weapons.

Sunao Tsuboi, who is among about 80,000 living survivors of the attack, recalled that he was on his way to school, only a few hundred yards from ground zero, when the bomb went off at 8:15 a.m. that day.

"There was an enormous flash of light. It seemed like the sun had fallen on the earth," Tsuboi said. "I was knocked unconscious by the force. When I came to, I couldn't believe what I saw -- people burned black all over. Parts of their bodies, their skin, even their ears were falling off. I was covered in burns myself. I almost lost my mind."

The bomb killed 140,000 people, half the city's population at that time. Thousands more would die from injuries and cancers caused by radiation in the years that followed.

'Terrible Thing'

Tsuruko Iwohara, one of a handful of survivors now living in the United States, recently took an emotional walk through the Hiroshima Peace Museum. The museum, built at ground zero in Hiroshima, has a powerful effect on most visitors, as its displays of devastation and suffering are graphic and often gut-wrenching.

This is first time she's returned on the anniversary of the bombing. Like most survivors, she wants all nuclear weapons banished.

"It was a terrible, terrible thing," said. "So, I just should tell everybody: Never happen like this again."

Hiroshima survivors take heart from the fact that the anniversary of bombing still attracts visitors from all over the world. People come to pray, to protest nuclear weapons, or simply to teach their children the causes and consequences of war.

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