On 6 August 1945, the nuclear bomb 'Little Boy' was dropped on Hiroshima, causing unimaginable death and human suffering. Three days later, 'Fat Man' was dropped on Nagasaki.
Seventy years later, Red Cross is adding our voice to a global call to ban nuclear weapons and ensure such a humanitarian tragedy never happens again.
"We (…) witnessed a sight totally unlike anything we had ever seen before. The centre of the city was a sort of white patch, flattened and smooth like the palm of a hand. Nothing remained." - Red Cross doctor Marcel Junod, the first foreign doctor to arrive in Hiroshima after the bombing.
When the nuclear bombs 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man' were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, tens of thousands of people were killed immediately.
In the following months 140,000 more succumbed to radiation sickness and injury. By 1950, the death toll had reached 500,000.
There are more than 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Right now, about 1,800 of them can be launched within minutes.
Even a limited nuclear war could leave over a billion people at risk of starvation. It could cause unspeakable suffering that cannot be limited in space or time. That's why Red Cross cares.
The only safe option for humanity is to ban the use of nuclear weapons and eventually eliminate them entirely. We have already banned landmines, biological and chemical weapons. It's time to do the same for the most destructive weapons of all.
Banning nuclear weapons is closer than you think. In fact, 110 countries around the world have already pledged to ban nuclear weapons.
Read Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner's Hiroshima Day address at Griffith University.
On Hiroshima Day 2015, hundreds of people joined vigils in cities and towns around Australia to say 'Never Again' and call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. In Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth, public buildings and landmarks were illuminated in commemoration.