A Peace Memorial Ceremony was held in Volgograd
In the early morning of August 6, 2019, the “Stalingrad Battle” panorama museum hosted a Peace Memorial Ceremony, which is held in Volgograd on the annual basis as a sign of solidarity with the city of Hiroshima and a tribute to its civilian residents who perished in the atomic bombing in 1945.
The ceremony brought together various representatives of public organizations, school and university students, members of the “Volgograd-Hiroshima” Friendship Society and such prominent figures as the Chair of Volgograd City Council Andrey Kosolapov and the Chair of Volgograd regional branch of the “Russian Peace Foundation” Yury Starovatykh, both Honorary Citizens of Hiroshima.
In the late summer of 1945, the Japanese nation had to face a horrible challenge: on August 6, an A-bomb – the most destructive weapon on the planet, was dropped on Hiroshima, and on August 9 – on Nagasaki. The explosion and the resulting fiery storm and radioactive poisoning caused the deaths of about 300 thousand people. 10 years later, on August 6, 1955, Hiroshima organized the 1st World Conference on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and the city itself became a symbol of struggle against the weapons of mass destruction. The Day of Hiroshima then would be celebrated by the international community as the World Day for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
At 8:15 sharp – the moment the A-bomb exploded in the sky above Hiroshima 74 years ago, the “Stalingrad Battle” panorama museum was filled with the toll of the Peace Bell given to Volgograd as a present by the authorities of the Japanese twin-city. Participants of the Memorial Ceremony had a minute of silence to pay a tribute to the victims of the bombing. Following the local tradition, the flowers layed ceremony at the foot of the bell were accompanied by paper cranes – a symbol of non-acceptance of war.
The commemorative event continued in the museum’s conference hall.
“Hiroshima has been Volgograd’s twin-city since 1972. During the Second World War, the residents of both our cities had to go through terrible hardships. Therefore Volgograd will always walk hand in hand with Hiroshima in what concerns peace promotion. Atomic power must be a source of energetic convenience but not fear and destruction,” pointed our Andrey Kosolapov.
An Honorary Citizen of both Volgograd and Hiroshima, the Chair of Volgograd regional branch of the “Russian Peace Foundation” Yury Starovatykh emphasized:
“Time has smoothed over the edges of the horror experienced by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but there are other catastrophes that might as well be brought about by the atomic mayhem.”
After that, the “Volgograd-Hiroshima” Friendship Society delivered a Power Point presentation about the gruesome realities of the atomic bombings of 1945 and the books, TV-series, manga, anime and music inspired by them and their consequences. One of the recent animated movies – “In this corner of the world” – was released quite recently, in 2016.
After the end of the event, all participants were offered to leave their signatures on the petitions of the “Mayor for Peace” international organization, which has Hiroshima as a President City and Volgograd – as a Vice-President. It addresses city residents of the whole world with an appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons and preservation of peace on the planet.