Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group members gathered beside the Rochdale canal in Litteborough on Saturday night (6 August 2011) to mark the 66th anniversary of the dropping of the first Atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima in 1945 and to commemorate all who have died or been injured in war. They shared readings and floated lanterns with a variety of messages, including “Scrap Trident Now”, “No More Hiroshimas”, “No More War” and “No More Fukushimas”.
The readings included extracts from a speech made by John Bright MP in 1855 and from a newspaper article written by a captain in the Welsh Guards serving in Afghanistan. Bright who was born in Rochdale 200 years ago this year, famously, told parliament, in opposing the war in Crimea that “The angel of death has been abroad throughout the land; you may almost hear the beating of his wings. ... he takes his victims from the castle of the noble, the mansion of the wealthy, and the cottage of the poor and the lowly” (see http://www.cobdencentre.org/2010/08/the-angel-of-death-has-been-abroad/ ), while the army captain in Afghanistan writes that in the context of death and serious injury being “sickeningly common occurrences”, he cannot shake off “that nagging, repetitive voice” in his head that says "It’s not worth it" (see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/there-is-no-refuge-no-place-to-go-to-deal-with-your-grief-1769938.html ).
Philip Gilligan said,
“Remembering the horror of Hiroshima and the ongoing horror of NATO’s disastrous war in Afghanistan brings home the importance of striving for for a global ban on nuclear weapons and an end to war. We need education, health and social services, not nuclear missiles or NATO’s disastrous and futile wars.”