Remembering Hiroshima

August 5, 2009

Bridge. Chester. By Frances Laing

Bridge. Chester. By Frances Laing

Mindful that tomorrow marks the 64th. year since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima city – I took myself off for a walk by the River Dee to reflect on what peace activists have achieved in the past few decades (and to take a few photographs).

West Cheshire Council’s elected representatives have been in the news lately for less-than-positive reasons, but the people of Chester also have a progressive and radical hidden history. An important international news story  which deserves to be told.

It was in the early eighties that people began to gather at 8.p.m every year on August 6th. to make speeches remembering Hiroshima and to pledge their support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. This ‘Flower Memorial Ceremony’ (which will be held tomorrow evening too) has now been taking place for more than twenty years.

Traditionally, people meet at the bandstand on the city centre side of the river – at the Groves. A reading is given. Everyone brings white flowers. Next, the small crowd sets off together across the bridge which you can see in the first picture. 

The size of the crowd has varied. There were many times when the beautiful suspension bridge swayed with the weight of them. In the eighties when the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament had a surge of strength. During the height of the opposition to the war in Iraq. During the long years in which peace activists,  community leaders and churches successfully campaigned for their Council to affiliate to Mayors for Peace.

In this ritual act of rememberance – the crowd always stops in the middle of the bridge to hear a second reading. Sometimes this is a speech. Sometimes it’s a poem.

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There is a moment of silence. The people cast their white flowers into the water and watch them drift peacefully away.

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One Response to “Remembering Hiroshima”


  1. […] Remembering Hiroshima. The Chester Flower Memorial Ceremony. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)U.S. ambassador to attend Hiroshima event – CNN.com Posted in Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Hiroshima Peace Declaration | Tagged global nuclear disarmament, Hiroshima Day, Hiroshima Peace Declaration, NPT review conference | Leave a Comment » […]

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