York Green Party

York marks 70th anniversary of Hiroshima bomb

7 August 2015

A group of York residents hosted a special ceremony on Thursday evening to mark the 70th anniversary of the United States dropping the first nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945.

After a short solo cello performance from Frances Jones, Green Councillor Denise Craghill began the ceremony by reading a deeply moving account of the dropping of the bomb and its immediate aftermath. Then the Lord Mayor of York, Sonja Crisp, read the 70th anniversary address given by the Mayor of Hiroshima earlier in the day.

The City of Hiroshima Peace Declaration remembered the horror which cost 140,000 lives within the first year. "Those who managed to survive, their lives grotesquely distorted, were left to suffer serious physical and emotional after effects compounded by discrimination and prejudice."

Attendees at the Hiroshima commemoration listen to music to open the event

Mayor Kizumi Matsui went on to warn about the ever-present dangers of another Hiroshima:

"Our world still bristles with more than 15,000 nuclear weapons, and policymakers in the nuclear-armed states remain trapped in provincial thinking, repeating by word and deed their nuclear intimidation. We now know about the many incidents and accidents that have taken us to the brink of nuclear war or nuclear explosions. Today, we worry as well about nuclear terrorism."

Read the full text of the Hiroshima Peace Declaration

The 40 attendees outside St Michael le Belfry were joined for the two-minute silence in memory of the atrocity by a passing Japanese tourist. Retired head teacher Helen Johnson then read an All Faiths Affirmation which began: "We, who live in the shadow of the mushroom cloud, We whose very bones and lungs are threatened even now by radioactivity, Declare our hope in the future."

Read the full text of the "All Faiths Declaration" in the event programme (PDF)

The ceremony ended with the lighting of 70 candles to mark the anniversary. Councillor Craghill said, "It's our duty to prevent anything like this happening again. In a world that is increasingly concerned about nuclear accidents and nuclear terrorism, the UK has its role to play. That's why it's Green Party policy to decommission the Trident nuclear deterrent system and to develop an energy policy that avoids the need for the unacceptable risk of nuclear power."

70 candles are lit on the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb

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