The United States - backed by the UK and other "civilised" nations committed mass murder and torture upon thousands and thousands of innocent men, women and children.
Growing up in the UK we were told (rightly so) of the horrific crimes of the Nazis and the Japanese occupiers - and rightly so - evil on that scale should never be forgotten. When we forget evil, it is likely to be repeated.
When we were taught about the atomic bombs, as we were living in a country complicit with this crime, we were told it was necessary to end the war. It could be argued that yes, it did being the war to an end.
I remember arguing that surely they could have dropped the bomb on an uninhibited island somewhere to show re might of this new weapon - or at least that the second one wasn't necessary - and yet as was often the case I was dismissed as a pacifist or a trouble maker.
The fact is that as Christians - the ends never justify the means - there can never be an excuse for destroying life if that person isn't threatening yours.
In the words of the catechism:
"Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation. A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons – especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons – to commit such crimes." [CCC 2314].
Let's pray for an end to all war and for peace - beginning with peace in our hearts.