Coventry will mark the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki this weekend – the 78thanniversary – with a special service of remembrance and commemoration in the cathedral.
The Coventry Hiroshima Remembrance will be held in the nave and the Coventry Chapel for Unity on Sunday (August 6) – this annual service is part of Coventry’s continuing work for peace and reconciliation.
The dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9 1945 killed 266,400 people instantly – but it is estimated that 526,000 Hibakusha (a Japanese word meaning “survivor of the bomb” or “person affected by exposure) have died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki since 1945.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr Jaswant Singh Birdi, and Mr Yasuyuki Okazaki, Minister of Public Diplomacy from the Embassy of Japan are the guests of honour at the service and will share messages of greeting.
The Revd Canon Mary Gregory, Canon for Arts and Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral said:
“This service is not just about remembering the terrible loss of life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 78 years ago, vital though that is. It is also about committing ourselves to work for a better future for humanity.
“We look back in order to look ahead with determination to build a culture of justice and peace.”
Paul Maddocks, Chair of The Lord Mayor’s Peace committee and long-standing member of the Coventry Society said:
“The annual Coventry Hiroshima Remembrance is part of Coventry’s great contribution to ‘the world-wide work of Peace and Reconciliation’ and the call to end the world of the ‘unbelievable destructive nuclear weapons.’ We look forward to being with everybody at the Remembrance”.
Coventry continues to build links with Hiroshima. In 2021 Coventry City Council sent a certificate of continuing friendship to the Hiroshima City Council. Coventry Cathedral’s Fellowship of Reconciliation awarded a prestigious Coventry Cross of Nails to the people of Hiroshima recognising their contribution to world efforts for peace and reconciliation.
The ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom commended the efforts of the Peace Committee with a certificate “of the spirit of profound gratitude” for everything that the committee had done.
All welcome to the service at 2pm you can register here.
And the Cathedral will live stream the service for those who cannot attend, just click here.