The US nuked Hiroshima 71 years ago today

Japan on Saturday marked 71 years since the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a U.S. atomic bomb, as its mayor urged the world to unite in abolishing nuclear weapons.

Obama is the first sitting USA president to visit the bomb site. About 50,000 participants, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives of more than 90 countries and regions, observed a minute's silence at the exact time the atrocity occurred decades ago.

Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on world leaders to visit the site, like U.S. President Barack Obama did in May.

Sponsored by Doylestown Friends Meeting, BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action and The Peace Center, a Langhorne-based nonprofit, the peace vigil was held on the 71st anniversary of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

"His visit was the proof that Hiroshima's strong wish not to tolerate the "absolute evil" was shared by President Obama", he said.

During his visit in May, Mr Obama embraced survivors as he made his visit to the city and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

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Many young people, who did not grow up in the shadow of World War II or during the Cold War don't understand the threat of nuclear weapons, said Cohen-Odiaga, a coordinator of Global Zero Boston, the group that organized the Sunday bike ride. By the end of 1945, about 140,000 people had died. Some died immediately while others succumbed to injuries or radiation-related illnesses weeks, months and years later. Three days later, the U.S. dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

Cllr Mary Freehill from Dublin City Council said Ireland has a "proud history" of promoting nuclear disarmament and was the first to propose an worldwide treaty on nuclear weapons at the United Nations in 1958, ratified 10 years later.

Like Obama, Matsui said that such visits "will surely etch the reality of the atomic bombings in each heart".

"It is terrifying that Donald Trump, the Republican Party's nominee to be our next Commander in Chief, is so anxious to use nuclear weapons."

Terumi Kuwada, a former president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, said the day is to honour those killed by nuclear weapons.

  • Sonia Alvarado