A Hiroshima ceremony to mark the anniversary of the atomic bomb attack by the U.S. during World War Two was attended by a U.S. ambassador for the first time in 65 years.

55,000 people gathered to remember the world’s first atomic attack and to pray for an end to nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima major, Tadatoshi Akiba, said: “We greet this August sixth with re-energized determination that no one else should ever have to suffer such horror. Clearly, the urgency of nuclear weapons abolition is permeating our global conscience.”

A minute of silence was held at 8:15, the moment the bomb detonated on a Sunday morning in 1945, killing more than 166,000 residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said in a speech, referring to the elimination of nuclear weapons. “For many of you, that day endures as vivid as the white light that seared the sky, as dark as the black rain that followed.”

Hiroshima officials hope that the presence of the U.S. ambassador may indicate that a visit from Barak Obama may happen in the future.

What happened in Hiroshima?

  • In 1945, during World War Two, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan after the Japanese government ignored an ultimatum.
  • 166,000 were killed. Mainly civilians.
  • On August 8, 1945, Radio Tokyo described the destruction observed in Hiroshima: “Practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death.”
  • It is estimated that 60% of victims died from flash or flame burns
  • 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes.
  • During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness.