Manchester, 29 September 2013

Manchester, 29 September 2013

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peace Group condemns nuclear weapons on 67th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group members gathered beside Hollingworth Lake on Sunday night (5 August 2012) to mark the 67th anniversary of the dropping of the first Atomic bomb on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 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 Nagasakis”.

The readings included extracts from speeches made survivors of the bombing of Nagasaki at the 3rd Nagasaki Global Citizens’ Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in 2006. Sakue Shimohira who was 10 years old at the time of the bombing said then, “To tell the truth, I’d like to lock away that painful and sorrowful scar at the bottom of my heart, and not talk about it. But 61 years after that unforgettable day, I feel that I must pass the story on. … All I could do was scream, “Mummy, help me!” My younger sister had been sent flying by the blast, and I had no idea what had happened to my friends. … The shelter stank of charred corpses, and we vomited as we waited for help. … My foster father had come to rescue us. He helped us outside, and again I was shocked: not a single house was left standing. There was nothing but a mountain of charred corpses and rubble.” Meanwhile Koichi Wada reports that “The streets and neighbourhoods were like replicas of a hell on Earth … It was not until 30 years later, when my first grandchild was born, that I began to recall the corpses of infants in the rubble after the atomic bombing and to feel a pressing duty to ensure that the atrocities of that day are never repeated.”

Philip Gilligan, on behalf of the Peace Group, said,

“More than 100,000 people were killed by the two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Remembering this horrific loss of life highlights the dangers we all face because of the huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons held by Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.  Between them, these nine countries possess more than 20,000 nuclear weapons. The USA and Russia alone maintain around 2,000 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status; ready to be launched within minutes of a command. Most of them are individually many times more destructive than the bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. A single nuclear warhead detonated on a large city could kill millions of people. The continued failure of the nuclear powers to disarm heightens the risk that other countries will acquire these weapons and leaves the spectre of nuclear destruction hanging over us all.”