Remembering lives lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Agencies
August 6, 2019

Two atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 killed and maimed many thousands of people. This week, the overwhelming devastation is being commemorated with vigils, prayers, peace walks and a determination to work for peace. Quakers around Britain will be among many remembering the lives lost.

On 6 August 1945, the US detonated the uranium bomb over Hiroshima. The firestorm destroyed five square miles of the city and killed an estimated 100,000 to 180,000 people. Three days later a second bomb on Nagasaki killed 50,000 to 100,000.

Oliver Robertson, Head of Witness and Worship for Quakers in Britain said, "Nuclear weapons are horrific, inhumane agents of death. We must not let the passage of time dim our awareness of how utterly destructive they are. A fitting memorial to the dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be ensuring that nobody else ever suffers the way they did."

The anniversary comes in the week Donald Trump scrapped the INF treaty, sparking fears of a new nuclear arms race.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said: “No-one cognizant of the horrific events of August 1945 could contemplate action to make nuclear war more likely. But in scrapping the INF treaty, a flagship nuclear arms control pact, Donald Trump has done precisely that this week.

“That’s why this year’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki remembrance events have an even greater resonance. A new nuclear arms race has begun and the threat of nuclear war is rising. I urge everyone who to attend their nearest event: to honour those who died we must commit to doing everything within our power to make sure nuclear weapons are never used again.”

More than 60 memorial events are planned across the UK.


Glasgow: Scottish CND will hold a gathering in Glasgow on Tuesday 6 August from 1.00pm at the Peace Tree in front of the main entrance of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Edinburgh: Edinburgh CND will hold a gathering at Castle Street alongside Princes Street on Tuesday 6 August from 6pm until 7pm


Haverfordwest: 6pm Tuesday 6 August. Join Pembrokeshire Peace Group for a lantern floating ceremony.


Coventry: 5.30pm 6 August in Coventry Cathedral, a service for those of all faiths and none. Organised by the Mayor's Committee for Peace and Reconciliation and attended by Minister Okada from the Embassy of Japan. Reflection from Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, with poetry and music, including Taiko drumming. Schoolchildren retell the experience of Sadako Sasaki, before the congregation make Japanese origami cranes of peace.

Leeds: Friday 10.30am 9 August Park Square for Mayors Peace Memorial. Including a two minutes' silence at 11.02am.

London: noon Tuesday 6 August in Tavistock Square. Readings, silence, laying flowers and message from the mayor of Hiroshima.

London: 6.30pm Tuesday 6 August in Friends House (opposite Euston Station). Hiroshima to Chernobyl: say no to nuclear. Includes video link up with Hiroshima.

There will also be many other events across the UK.

* Find a local event near you here

* Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament https://cnduk.org/

*  Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

* Quakers in Britain https://www.quaker.org.uk/


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