Twenty-five years ago, this month, the world first witnessed the result of atomic warfare. At?
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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS STORY IS SERVICED IN ADDITION TO THE HIROSHIMA BACKGROUNDER VISNEWS PRODUCTION NO. 6956/70.
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Background: Twenty-five years ago, this month, the world first witnessed the result of atomic warfare. At 0815 on the morning of August sixth, 1945, an atomic bomb was released from the bomb bay of a United States Air Force B-29 aircraft. It floated towards the earth at the end of a parachute and exploded with terrifying ferocity on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Two hundred and sixty thousand out of the city's population of 350,000 died as a result of the blast, or its ensuing radiation sickness.
Today, Hiroshima is a thriving industrial centre of half a million people. But the mark of the first atomic bomb hangs gloomily over the city.
Under a city planning scheme in 1950, the rebuilding of Hiroshima was begun. It is not the largest city in the Western part of Japan. But city officials have left standing the dome, which was at the heart of the old city, as a remainder of the effects of atomic warfare.
Now Hiroshima is thought of as a city dedicated to world peace, and the Japanese created the World Peace Memorial Hall as yet another remainder of the horror of that day 25 years ago.
More than 25 million people have visited Hiroshima and its monuments since 1952 and each year, on August six, pacifists from all over the world gather in what has become to them, their ??? of peace.