Air Show Cancels Plans To Reenact Bombing Of Hiroshima

An Ohio air show has made what is probably an advisable decision:

CINCINNATI (AP) — A popular southwest Ohio air show has canceled plans to stage a re-enactment of the devastating World War II atomic bomb attack on Japan after protests, officials said Thursday.

Dayton Air Show spokeswoman Brenda Kerfoot said the June 22-23 event at Dayton International Airport will keep a planned “Great Wall of Fire” pyrotechnic show but not as an event meant to re-enact the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing of Hiroshima. The B-29 plane “Fifi,” similar to the Enola Gay B-29 bomber used to attack Japan, will remain in the show but in a separate role.

Air show officials said the re-enactment was meant to highlight a historic event that helped end the war and save lives that would have been lost if the war had been prolonged.

“We’ve taken it as more of an educational show,” Kerfoot said. “The wording that we used probably wasn’t the best.”

That’s probably the case. Honestly, I’m not sure who thought this was a good idea. Would anyone do an historical reenactment of the firebombing of Dresden?

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. John Peabody says:

    Ach, show organizers are just trying to sell tickets. A B-29 by itself won’t cut it. Show ’em some fire! Hang it on a long-ago historical event! I’d bet that the people who thought of this were under 40 years of age.They didn’t have a Hiroshima survivor visit their 4th-grade classroom (which happened to me in 1968).

  2. ernieyeball says:

    Maybe those who thought this was a good idea are the same fools who worked on Newt’s Presidential Campaign.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Celebrate an event that resulted in the immediate vaporization of over 70,000 Civilian non-combatants? How does anybody reach the conclusion that THAT would be great family fun? Why not re-enact the firebombing of Dresden too?

  4. J-Dub says:

    @al-Ameda: But it SAVED lives!

  5. matt bernius says:

    Fair points above, but to play devil’s advocate, other than “too soon” what differentiates this from Revolutionary or Civil War battle reenactments?

  6. al-Ameda says:


    @al-Ameda: But it SAVED lives!

    In fact it saved so many lives that, 3 days we went ahead and vaporized another 70,000 non-combatant civilian lives at Nagasaki.

  7. Jacob says:


    No matter if you believe the bombs were justified or not, they should always be treated as a necessary evil and a lesson for future generations never to let war get that far again. There should be absolutely no doubt that they’re not something to be celebrated and turned into a fireworks display for entertainment purposes.

    Three weeks ago I read an article on Hiroshima in an old National Geographic magazine, 1995 I believe it was written. A survivor was interviewed about that day. Her and her eight year old daughter were in their house and her daughter asked if they could open a can of tangerines to eat but she said no because they might need it later. That was the last thing she said to her daughter before the bomb hit. And the mother’s greatest regret in life, one which she relives every day, was not letting her eight year old daughter taste the tangerines. Did that little girl deserve to die? Did that little girl’s death and those of thousands upon thousands of others, deserve to be turned into a show to be relived year after year after year until their deaths have as much meaning as a firework show? No, not at all.

  8. Jacob says:

    @matt bernius:

    The fact that those re-enactment are two opposing armies. Not the slaughter of 170,000 people most who were innocent civilians. Now I’ve never been to one but during those civil war re-enactments do you re-enact the massacres? The Centralia Massacre? Bee Creek? Lawrence Massacre, Nueces massacre, Shelton Laurel Massacre? Do you re-enact them? Do you put them on for a show?

    So why make a show on an event where people were crushed in their homes and in the buildings in which they were working? Where large numbers of the population walked for considerable distances after the detonation before they collapsed and died? Where large numbers developed vomiting and bloody and watery diarrhea? Where people were covered in second and third degree burns? Where people in the thousands died from radiation?

    Look at the photos of the burns, then ask that question again.