Keighley Hiroshima Vigil Report

Keighley Hiroshima Vigil Report

Sent by Jane Lee of Keighley Peace Justice and Environment Network

The annual vigil to mark the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima was held yesterday in Keighley Town Hall Square and at 8.15am, the time when the bomb was dropped, those present fell silent.
Sylvia Boyes led the ceremony and as she said, it is now 74 years since that moment and many of us have lived our entire lives under the nuclear shadow. But the danger to our planet and it’s people is even greater now, as nuclear weapons proliferate; possessor nations like USA and Russia allow long standing treaties limiting these obscene weapons to lapse; and cowboy nuclear diplomacy is conducted over twitter.

Present at the vigil was the Mayor of Keighley, Cllr Corkindale who spoke movingly of his own memory, as a schoolboy, of the afternoon that the Cuba/Turkey missile crisis came to a head and the world averted nuclear war by a whisker. As he said, very powerfully, “Nobody will win a nuclear war”.

He then read the annual message of peace from the Mayor of Hiroshima, who urged all nations to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Keighley MP, John Grogan, couldn’t attend the vigil but sent a message of peace, emphasising the fact that he is backing the United Nations Treaty for disarmament and working towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Participants read testimony from the survivors of the bomb (Hibakusha) and eye witness accounts of the moment the bomb went off and there was the marvellous moment when “Hiroshima Child” was sung acapella.

In the words of the Mayor of Hiroshima, “Let’s work towards the total elimination of Nuclear weapons and beyond that, to a world of genuine, lasting peace”.