Members and supporters of Kidlington Peace Campaign held their annual Commemoration in Exeter Hall Gardens on 6th August to mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII. The devastation of these cities in 1945 brought the Second World War to a sudden end, but caused the death of thousands of innocent civilians.
In August 1981 the Peace Campaign held their first Hiroshima Commemoration and planted a Japanese flowering cherry ‘Peace Tree’ in Exeter Hall Gardens. Mervyn Puleston brought along a photograph from that first occasion to pin on the ‘Peace Tree’ along with some Hiroshima origami peace cranes.
At this year’s Commemoration everyone maintained their social distance. Mervyn read extracts from John Hersey’s book on the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing and Andrew Moss spoke about the dangers of nuclear weapons at times of international tension.
Janice Ure read some verses from Dan Forrest’s ‘Requiem for the Living’ which describes people’s struggles with pain and sorrow, and this was followed by Chris and Marilyn King singing and playing music.
Chris Brennan spoke at the end of the Commemoration about progress at the United Nations where the 2017 treaty to abolish nuclear weapons has now been ratified by a total of 40 countries with only another 10 more countries needed to sign and ratify the Treaty for it to come into force and effectively ban the possession of nuclear weapons. He said it was unfortunate the UK Government was still spending billions on its Trident nuclear weapons when there’s a good possibility they will be outlawed and also when there are much more deserving priorities.
Chris Brennan, Kidlington Peace Campaign