WWII vet remembers Hiroshima bombing on 72nd anniversary - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

WWII vet remembers Hiroshima bombing on 72nd anniversary

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THOMPSONVILLE -- Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, an attack that killed 140-thousand people.

It's a day in history the world can never forget. The attack, ordered by President Harry Truman, took place in the final days of the war.

"I didn't never think I would make it back, I thought this was it," said WWll veteran Gerald Lampley, reminiscing on the day he left for war. 

The Navy veteran says he volunteered as a 17-year-old to serve the country. He told News 3 he was on a ship in the South Pacific Ocean and couldn't see or hear the attack from where he was. Today, Lampley is 91 years old and counting his blessings to be alive.

"But you're not it unless the man upstairs says so," said Lampley.

Cythia Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, said the attack was one of the most important, historical developments in the world.

“It changed the 20th century and has a legacy that will continue to the foreseeable future," said Kelly. "A legacy that is a double edged sword, both nuclear weapons that give mankind the power to destroy itself and nuclear energy which can be used to cure cancer, provide clean power and renewable other uses.”

She says she has great admiration for survivors across the world because they represent why the world should stay away from nuclear weapons.

And while the world is remembering this day, it's also keeping a closer eye on North Korea, as they're working to accelerate work on its nuclear weapons program.

Visit here to find more information on the bombing of Hiroshima, provided by the Atomic Heritage Foundation. 

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