Hiroshima Day

I was saddened but not surprised to hear no mention on this morning’s news that today was the 67th anniversary of one of the most important events of the twentieth century and one that has shaped our world since. I could have put up with hearing Usain Bolt’s ten seconds one less time to make room for it.

The atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and three days later on Aug 9 at Nagasaki market the beginning of a new age that continues to affect political events to this day.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

I’m sorry this year that I have to miss the annual commemoration at the Hiroshima cherry tree in Tavistock Square, not least to miss the inspiring example of Hetty Bower, now 106.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

It is hard to understand why this anniversary is not more widely remembered. There are of course other events both in London, at Westminster Cathedral and in Kingston, and in other towns and cities across the UK, including Milton Keynes, Norwich, Liverpool and Coventry, but it has always been largely ignored and downplayed by the media. This year of course, anything not involving those five rings stands little chance of getting a mention, and you can feel the palpable annoyance of the newsreaders at having to interrupt their Sportathon even for skeletal reports from Syria or of NASA’s Curiosity (will it find its Cat?)

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Hetty Bower holds up a picture of her grandson, born on Nagasaki Day 2010 who shoe hopes will grow up in a world of peace.

Hiroshima Day was a victim of the Cold War and was relegated to outer darkness and became the sole property of peace groups – the Tavistock Square event at noon – 1pm is organised by London Region CND, and non-members are welcome.

You can read a fuller account of last year’s event in Hiroshima Day in London on My London Diary. I’ve written before more about the photographs of the two cities after the event, and you can read one of these posts that I wrote when I was unable to attend the 2010 commemoration in Hiroshima 65 Years On.

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