Today is the 61st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The event was marked as it is each year, with a moment of silence at the city’s Peace Park near “ground zero.”
Eleven years ago on the 50th anniversary, while I was at the Exploratorium, I was involved in producing a website, Nagasaki Journey (with Ali Sant, Susan Schwartzenberg and others) which included photographs taken the day after the bombing. A Japanese Army photographer Yosuke Yamahata captured the devastation in black and white.
The website had an active discussion area (long since closed) which clearly demonstrated the unique qualities of the Web to encourage conversation. We received comments from all over the world, including one from an eye witness of the bombing. At the time, having discussions on the Web was still a new concept.
This was the early days of the Web. We were designing pages for Mosaic and Netscape 1.0. We had to create the layout without even the benefit HTML tables.
Even though Nagasaki Journey website is now quite dated, the photographs remain powerful. In seeing these images we are reminded of just how terrible war is and why it is so important to seek peaceful resolutions to human conflict.