Today is Hiroshima Day, when the US dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in Japan, killing 140,000 people. Three days later, on August 9, 1945, it dropped another bomb on Nagasaki, killing nearly 74,000 people. On August 15, the same year, Japan surrendered to the allies, ending World War 2.
But this is not just about history.
Here we are, 77 years later, and the world continues to be endangered by massive nuclear arsenals. There are over 13,000 nuclear warheads in 9 countries (given secrecy around ‘national security’ there could well be more warheads). The US and Russia combined own nearly 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.
ICAN Australia (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)* is leading the movement for Australia to end its disarmament doublespeak by signing and ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It says Russia has 6,255 nuclear warheads, the highest in the world. It is followed by the US with 5,550 such bombs. And China comes in a distant third place with 350 nuclear warheads. The US and Russia combined own nearly 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.
Today is a sobering day looking back to August 1945.
Today is a sobering day knowing that the potential for even one of those nuclear warheads to be used in conflict is very real.
Let us be agents of peace and transformation, and lend our voices to call for a world without nuclear weapons, and to advocate for Australia to sign on to and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Let us continue to courageously work and faithfully pray for peace and for a world free of nuclear weapons.
A prayer of remembrance
O God, the Creator of this beautiful planet
and all that dwells in it,
we now pause to remember the souls
of those who perished in the atomic bombings
and those who suffer from radiation even now.
We join our hearts and voices together
to pray for peace everywhere.
May the deadly power of nuclear arsenals
never be unleashed again upon your sacred creation.
May such weapons of mass and indiscriminate annihilations
be forever banned and eliminated from the face of the earth.
Forgive our silence, O God,
and enable your Church to raise its prophetic voices
to speak against the madness of nuclear pursuits anywhere.
Renew our commitment to be faithful stewards
of your beautiful creation and vehicles of peace.
In the name of Christ, our Prince of Peace. Amen.
(Source: Rev. Nobu Hanaoka)
More prayers and resources for Hiroshima Day here.
Saturday 6 August
Singing for Peace on Hiroshima Day 2022
2.15 pm, Victorian Trades Hall, Lygon Street, Carlton
3 Melbourne choirs will lead the audience in songs for peace
Speaker: Dr Margaret Beavis, ICAN Co-Chair.
Sunday 7th August, 10am
Hiroshima Peace Day service
Venue: St Paul’s Cathedral
The Consul-General of Japan and members of the Japanese community will be guests to mark Hiroshima Peace Day, and pray for peace in our world and a future without the threat of atomic weapons. Members of the local Ikebana Chapter will be providing specially created floral arrangements for the service and the Dean, the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, will preach. All are welcome to join the service in-person or online.
* ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. ICAN is a coalition of civil society organisations in over 100 countries working for a world free of nuclear weapons. ICAN works for all nations to join and implement the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.