Every year on Aug. 6, the City of Hiroshima holds the Peace Memorial Ceremony. Its aim is to remember the well over 100,000 people who died after the atomic bomb was dropped. It also aims to bring about world peace.
The mayor of Hiroshima reads a special Peace Declaration, which is sent to every country in the world to tell leaders to abolish nuclear weapons. The Hiroshima Commemoration and Peace Committee hope to educate the younger generation about the event that took place 68 years ago.
At exactly 8:15 a.m., the Peace Bell is rung. This is the time the atomic bomb was dropped, and people all over the city stand in silence for one minute. The sound of this peace bell is a simple reminder that trying to live in harmony is everybody's responsibility.
Solemn ceremonies are held every year on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and on Aug. 9 in Nagasaki to commemorate the memory of all the victims and to encourage people to work together for world peace.
A replica of the Hiroshima Peace Bell was presented to the city of Honolulu in 1985 from the people of Hiroshima in recognition of the relationship between Hiroshima and the State of Hawai'i.
Indeed, many would say that the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki began at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. However we reckon history, it is important to remember what happened in the past, so we can move forward to the future.
Let us hope we can continue to learn from past tragedies, to learn the message of peace and a better understanding of the importance of peace throughout the whole world.
Sadako Sasaki survived the Hiroshima bombing when she was a little girl. She was just 2 years old. The radiation from the bomb gave her leukemia when she was 10. Sadako believed in an old Japanese story that if you made 1,000 paper cranes, you would be granted a wish. She decided to fold 1,000 cranes and wish for good health and peace. She died before she completed making the cranes; her school friends finished making them for her.
Sadako said, "I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world."
Each year, thousands of paper cranes from all over the world hang from the statue of Sadako in Hiroshima's Peace Park.
The cranes and her message are a good way to remember we must never give up on peace.