In early August, 2015, while on a three-week trip around Japan with my wife (It was my first time ever visiting Asia), we found ourselves in Hiroshima just a few days shy of the 70th anniversary of the US bombing of this beautiful city. I found myself lost for several moments, standing and staring at what was once the The Product Exhibition Hall building, designed by the Czech architect Jan Letzel. Today it's commonly referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome.
Because the bomb detonated almost directly above it, the building didn't fall. But its near-obliteration and subsequent preservation serves as a memorial to the 70,000 innocent civilians who were killed instantly by the blast, and the 70,000 arguably less fortunate victims, who died later from the radiation.
It would be a gross understatement to say we did unspeakable things to the people here. Maybe it shortened the war and saved lives. But the lives of innocent people were sacrificed, to die in an instant as a pile of ash, or over months and years after horrible suffering.
We did this. Twice.
It was considered "the right thing," by the judgment of some. But regardless, it should be considered a terrible thing by all.
It's a miracle that humanity hasn't used such ugly power in the same way since. I can only hope we live in a world smart enough—or at least lucky enough—not to see it used in the same way again.