August 2023,78th Anniversary of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On 6 August 1945, the United States dropped the first ever Atomic Bomb, nicknamed the Little Boy, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. In a single moment this bombing claimed the lives of 140,000 people, and turned over 4 square miles of the city into dust. Tens of thousands more eventually died and are still dying prematurely due to radiation and other consequences. All that remains since that notoriously evil day is the Genbaku Dome, or what is more commonly referred to as the “A-bomb Dome.” Days after the Hiroshima attack, Nagasaki was similarly destroyed by another bomb, nicknamed the Fat Man, which killed 74,000 people with the same horrific pain and consequences as the one in Hiroshima.
Let us remember the lives that have been lost, maimed and injured, as well as the cities that were destroyed in the egregious acts against humanity, and strive for a nuclear free world to honour the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Sunrise at the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, 6 August 2019. Photo: theguardian.com
We must never ever forget the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the lessons that are at risk of being forgotten by many around the world, including the world political leaders today.
To highlight this point, suffice to note the recent decision by the UK government to totally forget the tragic lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and instead to increase the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal, for the first time since the cold war, by over 40 per cent. The UK will now have 260 warheads; each 10 times deadlier than Hiroshima.
This tragic and foolish decision was taken despite the UK being a signatory to the UN’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which requires that we should be working towards disarmament, and are committed under international law to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament” (Article VI).
The above highlights the urgency and the necesity of the need for the progressive and concerned citizens around the world to continue and indeed, campain harder against further nuclearisation and warmongering. We have a duty and responsibility to remember the victims of the bombing, the consequent destruction, the everlasting pain and misery of the survivors to campaign for world peace, justice and nuclear disarmament, creating much-needed awareness about the danger nuclear weapons pose to the very future of humanity. Carpe diem!
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
Photo:A man lights incense in Hiroshima, 6 August 2019. theguardian.com
“Although the people living across the ocean surrounding us are all our brothers and sisters why, Oh Lord, is there trouble in this world? Why do winds and waves rise in the ocean surrounding us? I earnestly wish the wind will soon blow away all the clouds hanging over the tops of the mountains.”- Shinto Peace Prayer
"When the Eagle of the North gets together with the Condor of the South, it is time for all the Rainbow Tribes of the World to get together and bring Peace upon this world."- Native American Prophecy
"We're all one family, all together, We human beings, all one big mob!"- Miriwoong, Australian Aboriginal
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Master, grant that I may not seek so much to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life- Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Deep Peace of the running wave to you
Deep Peace of the flowing air to you
Deep Peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep Peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the shades of night to you
Moon and stars always giving Light to you- Celtic Peace Prayer from Antiquity
On this day I also wish to remember my own visit to Hiroshima in July 1995 and to
recall Japan’s Ambassador’s Visit to Coventry, 28 Years On.
Coventry Cathedral-Statue of Reconciliation
In the mid 1990s, I had founded the Centre for the Study of Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Coventry University. This was the culmination of my years of cooperation with Coventry Cathedral and the City of Coventry.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the ending of the war between Japan and Europe, at the suggestion of Coventry Cathedral’s Provost, John Petty, Sir Richard Branson had funded the construction of two replicas of the original Statue of Reconciliation (by sculptress, Josefina de Vasconcello, installed first at the School of Peace Studies at Bradford University) one for the ruins of Coventry Cathedral and the other for Hiroshima Peace Park.
I was honoured to be present for the installation ceremony at Coventry Cathedral in 1995. Then, at the personal invitation of Sir Richard, I accompanied him and the Coventry delegation, the Lord Mayor, Provost John Petty, Canon Paul Oestreicher, and others to Hiroshima for the unveiling ceremony of the Statue at Hiroshima Peace Museum.
I am most grateful for that opportunity which I will remember forever.
A bit more on "My Coventry Story":
“...We also together - in association with and support of the University, the Cathedral and the City Council - instigated and co-founded the Centre for the Study of Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Coventry University and as part of its work, in association with the Ambassadors’ Lecture Series, which we had founded already, invited international speakers including the former presidents of Ireland and South Africa, namely, Mrs. Mary Robinson, and F.W. de Klerk to deliver lectures at Coventry Cathedral. Moreover, we also invited other international speakers including Ambassadors of Japan, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Mexico and the High Commissioner of Canada to deliver lectures on the need for dialogue and mutual respect among different cultures and civilisations at Coventry’s St. Mary’s Guildhall. We were delighted when Mrs. Robinson accepted our invitation to become the Patron of our newly founded Centre. Our joint activities resulted in many publications. At George’s suggestion and with the kind support of Canon Paul Oestreicher and Provost John Petty, I received an invitation from Sir Richard Branson to accompany the Coventry delegation (City and Cathedral) to Hiroshima for the unveiling ceremony of the Statue of Reconciliation at Hiroshima Peace Park...”- The story of a boy from Iran who became a man in Coventry
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Hiroshima the City of Hope