Annually, citizens of Winnipeg commemorate the suffering and the deaths of the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused by the atomic bombing of those cities by the United States in Aug. 6 and 9, 1945 respectively. The death toll was staggering – 140,000 in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945. Many more thousands died over the months and years to come from injuries and illnesses caused by radiation poisoning.
Lantern ceremonies are held worldwide on Hiroshima Peace Day to honour the memory of the people who died. During these ceremonies, participants are invited to design a lantern that represents their thoughts and feelings regarding personal losses, global concerns of peace, nuclear disarmament and any other issues relevant to keeping our planet safe.
Mayors for Peace
Cities have taken the lead in a worldwide movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons. In 1982, at the Second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament, the Mayor of Hiroshima announced the “Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.” This initiative has become known as the Mayors for Peace campaign. To date, 5,312 have signed on, including the City of Winnipeg, which joined in 2003. In all, 96 Canadian cities belong to Mayors for Peace.
- Terumi Kuwada, Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizens Association
- Nadia Kidwai, Islamic Social Services Association
- Glenn Michalchuk, Peace Alliance Winnipeg (His speech is posted here.)
- Stacey Matsumoto, Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizens Association
Musical accompaniment was provided by saxophonist Shane Nestruck and video production by Paul S. Graham.