NAGASAKI -- As the city here prepared to mark the 66th anniversary of its destruction by an atomic bomb Aug. 9, a torrential downpour left many soaked. Members of the press could be seen drenched head to toe as they tried to get the perfect picture, and the city's choir, composed entirely of those who had survived the atomic blast, had to perform in full ponchos.
Amidst the rain, many could be seen having fun, smiling as they splashed in the puddles. It seemed a subtle reminder of nature's tendency to carry on, despite whatever we humans do to destroy it.
Here are a few scenes from the Nagasaki commemoration, which culminated with the piercing drone of an air raid siren and the ringing of bells throughout the city at 11:02 a.m -- the exact time the bomb hit the city sixty-six years ago, turning many buildings to nothing more than ash.