August 6th – Toronto NAJC Supports Hiroshima Day at Toronto City Hall

August 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Hiroshima Day

This August 6th marked the 69th year since the horrible atomic bombing of Hiroshima which was followed a few days later by a similar bombing of Nagasaki.   As in past years, TorontoNAJC  supported the Hiroshima Day Coalition  ceremony at Nathan Phillip Square at Toronto City Hall, not only to commemorate the thousands  of victims of those massacres but to urge the global banning of nuclear weapons.

The Hiroshima Day event was conceived in 1982 by the Mayor of Hiroshima with the intent of engaging cities worldwide to promote the abolition of nuclear weapons.   Toronto joined the program (now known as the Mayors for Peace) in 1984 and today there are 6,206 cities involved.

In addition to the TorontoNAJC,  local JC organizations supporting the event included the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre,  Yakudo Taiko, The Japanese Gospel Church and Hiroshima Kenjin Kai.   Other groups involved included the Canadian Pugwash Group, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Science for Peace, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Toronto Area Interfaith Committee, Physicans for Global Survival and Veterans against Nuclear Arms.

Hiroshima dayAmong the speeches and songs urging  greater action to ban nuclear weapons, the impassioned words of  Ms Setsuko Thurlow OC,  a Hiroshima survivor,  was particularly moving as she spoke of that dreadful August 6th morning when she lost almost all her classmates at her school.  To emphasize her words she had a long banner unfolded on stage which listed the names of 351 classmates victims of the bombing.

The sober ceremony ended in the soft breeze at twilight of a peaceful August evening,  as Pastor Haruo Sato of the Gospel  Church led a prayer in Japanese and English and candle- lit paper lanterns carrying messages for peace were floated on the square’s reflecting pool .

Ron Shimizu   7/8/2014