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No More Hiroshima. No More Nagasaki August 5th, 2020
By Fr. Brad Rozairo OMI
This August will mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In this 75th year after the bombing, these two cities have established the Nuclear-Free World Foundation, a body to support people and groups around the globe striving for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Let us hope and pray that this year will be a turning point for opening a path for a world without nuclear weapons.
‘Ten days for Peace’ – August 6 – 15, 2013 August 11th, 2013
We would like to share the following, which was sent to the US JPIC Office by Fr. Bradly Rozairo, OMI:
Inspired by the peace message delivered by Blessed John Paul II in Hiroshima in 1981, the Church in Japan has designated 10 days between Hiroshima memorial day (Aug. 6) to the memorial day of the end of WWII which is 15th August as a special period of prayer for peace. This period also includes the memorial day of Nagasaki (Aug. 9).
‘Ten days for Peace’ gives an opportunity to Christians to organize various peace programs. People from different parts of Japan and also from abroad come together not only to remember and pray for the war dead, but also to listen to the war experiences of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This week I was in Hiroshima to attend some of the peace events. At the Peace Memorial Church in Hiroshima, a well organized Mass for Peace, was celebrated by Bishop Maeda of Hiroshima. The distinguished guests were the Nuncio of Japan Archbishop Joseph Chennoth and Cardinal Turkson who heads the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace. The Eucharistic celebration was well attended by the Bishops, priests, nuns, Catholics and Christians of different denominations.
At the Peace Memorial Park, it was interesting to talk and listen to some children and adults, who braved the heat to sing, talk, dance and pray for peace. Just to be in the crowd and allow oneself to be bathed in that whole atmosphere in itself is an experience. The smell of incense, the sound of the gong and the offering of flowers make you think of the unforgettable past, remembered here the present while praying for a better future.
2012 Peace Program in Hiroshima September 7th, 2012This report of the Commemoration of the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima was submitted by Brad Rozairo OMI in August.
The atomic bomb anniversary was solemnly remembered in Hiroshima. Every year the host diocese of Hiroshima conducts a series of programs both at the memorial cathedral and in other places like the peace memorial park. I was there to witness some of the events on Aug. 5th & 6th.
The program proper began on 5th in the afternoon with a symposium on the prospect of ending nuclear generation. Bishop Tani, the head of the Commission for Justice and Peace, was the main speaker. The symposium also featured comments from a Korean resident of Japan who survived the bomb and from mothers who had been forced to flee Fukushima due to last year’s nuclear accident.
In the evening around 500 people joined the peace march. We marched up the main street from Hiroshima peace memorial park to the memorial cathedral. This year I noticed during the march there was a group of noisy pro-nuclear activists who were trying to make their voices heard. But that did not disturb the peace march. It was good to see the youth from different dioceses with banners and placards that read “No to nuclear energy”, “World peace” etc. joining the procession. Some had peace messages imprinted on their T-shirts! Some young men carrying guitars invited everyone to join them sing peace songs in a loud voice. (I think we were noisier than the pro-nuclear activists!). For me to join the peace march and to get soaked into that atmosphere itself was an experience. After the peace march reached the cathedral, a mass for peace was celebrated. The main celebrant was Bishop Maeda of Hiroshima.
On the 6th, the day Hiroshima was bombed, at 6:15 in the morning there was an inter-religious prayer service held at the peace memorial park. Clergy representing different religions offered incense and recited prayers for the victims of the A- bomb. At 8 am a “Memorial mass for the Victims of Nuclear Weapons and all Wars” took place at the cathedral.
Personally, for me to be in Hiroshima especially on 6th Aug. is something special. Every year when I go there I take time to listen to the stories of the A- bomb victims, watch some screen play on the bombing, listen to peace songs sung by different choirs and pray for peace. People offering flowers at the memorial monument, the smell of incense, the sound of gong etc. puts you into a mood that can not be explained by words. To be in that place the whole day and to be immersed in that atmosphere is a profound experience. I think I’ve got a special place for Hiroshima in my heart. That may be because I come from a war-affected country.