This post should probably be written in a week from now instead of tonight at 2:30am, but I just finished watching Grave of the Fireflies and felt like giving some thoughts on this mostly unknown date in American history.
While most Americans probably could not name any specific events tied to August 6th and 9th of 1945, they most surely are aware of the atomic bombs dropped by the US Military on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on those dates. On the other hand, I am willing to bet that most Americans know nothing about (nor have even heard of) the firebombing of Tokyo by the US military on the night between March 9th and 10th that intentionally burned over 100,000 civilians to death in a single night - more than were killed by either atomic bombs in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Nor do most Americans know that this tactic against Japanese civilians was repeated on dozens of cities, such as Kobe which killed over 80,000 civilians in a single attack.
This latter image is especially powerful for me as it could have easily been a picture of my mother's mother and sister (my Obaachan and Noriko-bachan). During the attack on Tokyo, my grandmother was literally running from the flames with my mother's oldest sister on her back. They were close enough to the flames that at one point my aunt's hair caught fire and needed to be smothered out. By grace and luck they managed to survive. My mother was born a few years later.
Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, and aide to General Douglas MacArthur, called it "one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of non combatants in all history"; and Robert McNamara later said that if the US had lost the war, he and others who orchestrated the attacks would have been tried and found guilty of war crimes.