At 11am today, Keighley Peace, Justice and Environment Network held a vigil commemorating the lives lost in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings 75 years ago this weekend. Below you can read the press release written on behalf of KPJEN, by member John Cope.
Keighley Peace Justice and the Environment Network held its annual vigil (in Town Hall Square subject to lockdown rules) on 6 August 2020 to commemorate the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and that on Nagasaki 3 days later.
The two bombings killed an estimated 180,000 people most of whom were civilians and remains the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.
The ceremony, presided over by Sylvia Boyes, was attended by Keighley Town Mayor Peter Corkindale for the second time, Rev. Graham Potter on behalf of the Parish of Keighley and Doctor Richard Solomons.
Mr.Corkindale received a copy of the Peace Declaration published earlier in the day by Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui. The Peace Declaration noted that,”On 6 August 1945 a single bomb destroyed our city. Rumour at the time had it that ‘nothing will grow here for 75 years’. And yet, Hiroshima recovered, becoming a symbol of peace visited by millions from around the world.”
The Peace Declaration compared the dropping of the atomic bomb with the corona virus saying that what we had learned from the tragedies of the past will help us to overcome the current threat.
The recent visit of Pope Francis was recalled by Mayor Matsui with the Pope’s three powerful imperatives, to remember, to journey together and to protect.
Mr. Corkindale emphasized the need to learn lessons from the past and from the current pandemic as we move forward.
Doctor Solomons noted the danger of a nuclear attack and the need to work for a nuclear free world which would release resources for worthwhile purposes.
Sylvia Boyes drew attention to the 2017 United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by 122 nations yet not endorsed by the United Kingdom.
Some of those present about 25 people, two meters apart, made verbal contributions interspersed with periods of silence.
Rev. Potter ended proceedings by reading the Universal Prayer for Peace.