Thursday, 6 August 2009

Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks commemorated in Leeds

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott will lay a wreath this weekend to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and to remember all innocent victims of warfare.

The annual commemorative event will take place at the Mayors for Peace memorial, which is in the centre of Park Square, Leeds city centre. This memorial was officially unveiled in 2003 by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leaders of Mayors for Peace. The event begins at 10.40am this Sunday.

It was on August 9th 1945 when a huge nuclear bomb called ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on Nagasaki. Three days earlier a nuclear bomb had been dropped on the city of Hiroshima. Over 200,000 people were killed and 75,000 injured in the two attacks. Most of the victims were innocent men, women and children.

Since 1947, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have commemorated the bombings with civic services of remembrance. In recent years towns and cities around the world have followed suit, and the Leeds event reflects the desire to remember all innocent victims of all wars since 1945.

Sunday’s event in Park Square will include reading of the 2009 Peace Declarations given by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the laying of a wreath by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, and two minutes silence; readings of poetry by survivors of the bombings. Members of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association will also attend.

Leeds City Council is one of 3047 members, from 134 countries, of the Mayors for Peace organisation, which is led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the event continues the close co-operation between these cities and their universities. Leeds Metropolitan University has had a twinning agreement with Hiroshima University for a number of years.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott said:

“The annual Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorative service allows people in Leeds to remember the terrible events of the Second World War and the continued targeting of innocent civilians in warfare.

“I encourage people to attend Sunday’s event and show solidarity and reverence for those killed in war, whatever their race, creed, nationality or colour.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 395 0393
Email: andy.carter@leeds.gov.uk