LEEDS will commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings during the Second World War. The bombings killed over 200,000 civilians in Japan in what is to date the only use of nuclear bombs.
The annual event will remember the innocent people killed and will be held in the centre of Park Square on Tuesday 9th August at 10:40am. This year the event will have a particular significance as the victims of the earthquake in Japan will also be remembered.
A wreath will be laid by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor and members of the public will be given the opportunity to lay paper cranes to commemorate the anniversary.
Lord Mayor, Councilor Reverend Alan Taylor, said, “I encourage people to attend the event and take the time to remember and consider the effects on innocent civilian populations of modern warfare.
This year we will also remember the victims of the Japanese tsunami and the terrible consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.”
The laying of paper cranes is a universal sign for peace. Sadako Sasaki, a victim of the bombings attempted to fold 1000 paper cranes, Japanese folklore said that anyone who folded 1000 paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sasaki’s wish was to get better.
Unfortunately she would succumb to leukaemia brought on by the bombings before she could get to 1000. Her friends made the rest after her death and buried them with her, transforming the paper crane into a symbol of peace for children all over the world.
Most of the cranes to be laid in commemoration this Tuesday were folded earlier in the year as part of a disaster fundraiser called “Fold for Japan.” An event which helped raise almost £1000 for the victims and survivors of this year’s devastating earthquake.
The event will also see a two minute silence and readings of poetry by survivors of the bombings.