On August 6 Hiroshima observes the 25th anniversary of the atom bomb explosion which destroyed that Japanese city, killing an estimated 200 000 inhabitants.
On August 6 Hiroshima observes the 25th anniversary of the atom bomb explosion which destroyed that Japanese city, killing an estimated 200 000 inhabitants. Hiroshima is again a bustling city but every year its citizens look back and pray for peace.
Each anniversary, at exactly 0815 local time, Hiroshima becomes silent as the half million inhabitants reflect on the massive explosion 25 years ago. Many who survived the horror of the blast and those whose relatives have since died from the effects of the explosion attend a memorial ceremony at the Hiroshima peace park.
Later they release a thousand doves, symbols of peace, and at night lighted paper lanterns are floated down the Motoyasu River on a small wooden cross. Relatives make the lanterns for the soul of the dead. Borne slowly through the city by the river the lanterns pass the "atomic dome" - which stands today exactly as it did after the bomb had fallen.
The crews of the American aircraft which made the two atom raids on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, also remember. They include Jacob Beser, radar observer, and Kermit Behan, bombardier on the Hiroshima raid, as well as General Charles Sweeney, pilot of the aircraft which carried the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.