Read a Schoolboy’s Eyewitness Account of Hiroshima

70 Years ago today.

TIME

When the Japanese surrendered in World War II, the historic news was all but eclipsed by the world-altering event that led up to it: the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which happened 70 years ago Thursday.

“The greatest and most terrible of wars ended, this week, in the echoes of an enormous event—an event so much more enormous that, relative to it, the war itself shrank to minor significance,” read TIME’s first sentence of the first story that ran the first week after. “The knowledge of victory was as charged with sorrow and doubt as with joy and gratitude. More fearful responsibilities, more crucial liabilities rested on the victors even than on the vanquished.”

It was clear to all then that a great force had been unleashed, and those who had survived the awful war would be left to try to harness it. In 1985, on the…

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