Hiroshima anniversary: Lives lost vs. lives saved

At AP is reporting from Tokyo about the 76th anniversary of the U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The Aug. 6, 1945, bombing killed 140,000 people. A second bomb three days later on Nagasaki killed another 70,000, but days later Japan surrendered and ended World War II.

But lest we forget, that bombing saved millions of American and Japanese lives.

Writing a year ago in The Wall Street Journal, John C. Hopkins, a nuclear physicist and former executive at Los Alamos National Laboratory, cited a July 1945 U.S. government report that estimated that invading the Japanese islands would have cost 5 million to 10 million Japanese lives. The U.S. also estimated that between 400,000 and 800,000 Americans would have lost their lives in the invasion. How many might have been our fathers and grandfathers? A child prays in front of the cenotaph dedicated to the victims of the atomic bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. Hiroshima on Friday marked the 76th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing of the city. (Kyodo News via AP)
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