Manchester to commemorate 70th anniversary of bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings will be commemorated in a service led by The Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Paul Murphy OBE at Manchester Museum on Thursday.

Approximately 200,000 people were killed by the two bombs in 1945 – most of whom were civilians – as the Americans sought to bring World War Two to a close.

Whilst they were successful in achieving this aim, the ethical justification for the attack has since been scrutinised, and Lord Mayor Murphy will use the service as a platform to call for an end to nuclear programmes across the world.

He said: “The unprecedented destructions that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened 70 years ago but the effects of the atomic bomb resonated throughout the 20th century and continue to shape our world today. 

“Therefore it is important we take the time to remember this solemn anniversary and I am honoured to lead the commemorations as we remember all victims of warfare.

“Manchester has a long history of working toward the abolition of nuclear weapons and this landmark is a pertinent reminder that we must all continue to call for peace and reason in what is tragically still an unstable world.” 

The event has been organised jointly by the City Council and the University of Manchester, and will begin at 6pm in the Living Worlds Gallery, which is currently hosting an exhibition chronicling how nature has played a role in helping people to come to terms with the Hiroshima bombing.

The gallery will also be displaying work from local school children, who have been asked to create art pieces inspired by the way in which nature can help to regenerate damaged cities by Manchester City Council’s Project G.

Project G involved seeds from gingko trees that survived the nuclear attacks being sent to various cities across the world, with Manchester being the first UK city to receive the seeds due to its role as Vice President of the Mayors for Peace Programme.

Henry McGhie, Head of Collections at the Manchester Museum, said: “As a public museum within a large university, we aim to bring people together to support the development of a tolerant, vibrant society.

“We have been privileged that our museum has provided the setting for such a poignant event.” 

Main image courtesy of FootageArchive – Videos From The Past, with thanks.

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