Seventy years ago today, at 8:15 am on August 6th, 1945 the city of Hiroshima Japan was destroyed by an atomic bomb. In only a few brief minutes thousands of innocent civilians lost their lives. Three days later on August 9th, the city of Nagasaki met the same tragic fate. To acknowledge and morn these atrocities, yesterday, Wednesday, August 5th, the Peace Boat US team co-sponsored and participated in a “Peace Gathering to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagaski.” Over a hundred concerned citizens gathered in front of the Consulate General of Japan in New York City to commemorate the great wrong that was done to the people of Japan in 1945 and to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The event was co-sponsored by 16 local peace organizations including Peace Boat US, Hibakusha Stories and Veterans for Peace. Richard Greve, from Veterans for Peace delivered flowers to the consulate as a symbol of our condolences for those who lost their lives to the bombings in Japan 70 years ago. He also read a letter of apology to the public, which was delivered to the Japanese Consulate that stated, “Although our government has so far refused, we would like to offer today our sincere apology to all those affected by the tragic events, which amounted to reprehensible war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Other speeches were given by members of the various organizations including the Granny Peace Brigade and Abolition 2000 members, calling for such atrocities to, “never happen again!” The citizens gathered at the vigil reiterated the importance of retaining Article 9 of Japan’s peace constitution and stressed their opposition to any revisions of the constitution which would dilute this essential peace clause.