Kingston remembers and advocates on Hiroshima Day

August 7, 2023

In memory of Hiroshima Day, the day an atomic bomb was dropped on Hirshima, Japan at the end of World War II, The Hiroshima Day Coalition in Kingston, in partnership with Peace Quest, Providence Centre for Peace, and Justice and Integrity of Creation organized various educational events and opportunities for activism.

Each year on Aug. 6, Hiroshima Day is observed to remember the dropping of the atomic bomb on the city in 1945. The Hiroshima Day Coalition has created space and organized events in Kingston for this day for more than 40 years. As this day serves as a reminder of the consequences of war, it is also a day to spread awareness about nuclear disarmament and advocate for peace.

"I started attending Hiroshima Day 40 years ago. And at that time in my life, I was thinking that maybe I would like to have children and realized that if I was going to have children, I wanted them to be born into a good world, a safe world. And I thought I better get involved in the peace movement," says Judi Wyatt, member of the Hiroshima Day Coalition.

Leading up to the event, the coalition and their partners hosted various events, including a showing of the film “The Day After” at the Screening Room, lantern making events in the downtown market, and a Window Display at Novel Idea bookstore. On the weekend of Aug. 6, they hosted a procession to commemorate the day.

There were approximately 50 people in attendance. The lawn on the right side of St. Andrew's Church on Princess Street was ringed with 78 lanterns, representing the 78 years since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Members of the Hiroshima Day Coalition welcomed those in attendance and reported what happened on Aug. 6, 1945, also speaking about why this matters today.

Organizers promoted two actions at this event; signing postcards urging the Canadian government to sign the UN Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons, and signing a petition asking Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson to join the UN's Mayors for Peace.

There was also music as local singer-songwriter Wendy Luella Perkins turned the audience into a choir, drawing in several people walking down Princess Street.

Story by Christena Lawrie, CFRC News, for the Local Journalism Initiative