Aug 9, 2009


Today, 9 August is a memorial day for the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. So in Nagasaki this morning, the Peace Memorial Ceremony was held in the Peace Park which is near the Cathedral, Urakami church. In fact, epicenter of the atomic bombing is just next to the Cathedral which was also destroyed completely with several faithful inside on the day.

Peace message delivered by Mr. TAUE, mayor of Nagasaki was moving. He referred to the speech by President Obama in Prague last April and urge world leaders to visit Nagasaki in order to understand the reality of destruction and after effects of the nuclear weapon.

Ms.Okumura who was just 8 years old when the bomb killed all other members of her family of nine also gave her testimony during the ceremony. She was left alone with severe burn wounds. She mentioned her experience as experience of living through Hell. Her testimony and pledge for peace was very strong.

Prime minister Aso looked a bit tired because of the general election campaign which is going on till 30 August but he spoke well about the new commitment of his government to save victims of the bombing.

Then H.E. Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, M.M who is the president of the 63rd General Assembly of UN delivered his message. As a priest, though I do not know his present canonical status, he apologised to the people that Catholic had been involved in the bombing.

It might be very difficult and probably unrealistic to eliminate all nuclear weapons at once. But unless a small step forward is made by someone, nothing will happen either. So I hope the message from President Obama would be the force behind to let the world leaders to make historic decision to make a step forward to realise a dream of many.

I will be away to Manila from tomorrow to attend the 9th General Assembly of FABC with Archbishop Okada and Bishop Oshikawa. I will be back on 17 so that the next post will be after 18. (Photo above; Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki which was rebuilt at the same spot of the destroyed one)

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