Once again, the anniversary that affects me more than almost any other has rolled around. On August 6th, 1945, just shy of a month after I was born, the US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. This was, at the time, the most deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction ever inflicted by humans on other humans. A few days later, on August 9, we repeated the experiment with a newer and "improved" bomb dropped on Nagasaki. At least 150,000 and more likely over 200,000 people were either killed immediately or died from injuries caused by the explosions. In later years, many people suffered from the aftereffects of radiation exposure; this includes birth defects.
Apologists for the bombings claim that they were needed to bring Japan to an earlier surrender than might have happened otherwise. Such an action taken today would without doubt be considered collective punishment under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus a war crime.
To be reminded of the effects of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have a look at these photos at Life.com. Some are disturbing enough to be accompanied by a warning, but anyone who thinks that the bombings were justified should have a look, and ponder.