Buddhist monastics and laypeople joined people of all faiths at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park at 6:15am on Monday as part of an interfaith service to remember those who lost their lives in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima at 8:15am on Monday, 6 August 1945 that incinerated the city. Three days later a second bomb was detonated over Nagasaki. The two nuclear blasts resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people, mostly civilians.
The interfaith assembly was followed by an official ceremony in the presence of Mayor Matsui, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and representatives of 85 countries. Across Japan, people observed a minute’s silence, and in Hiroshima a bell tolled at 8:15am, a somber reminder of the moment the bomb detonated.
“If the human family forgets history or stops confronting it, we could again commit a terrible error. That is precisely why we must continue talking about Hiroshima,” Mayor Matsui said in a strongly worded appeal. He added that for Japan, this meant leading the international community toward “dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons.”