Friday, August 6, 2010


TOKYO (AFP) - The United States on Friday attended for the first time a ceremony commemorating the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, 65 years after the Japanese city’s destruction rang in the nuclear age. The United States’ World War II allies Britain and France, both declared nuclear powers, also sent their first diplomats to the ceremony in the western Japanese city in a sign of support for the goal of nuclear disarmament. Japan, the only country that has ever been attacked with atomic bombs -- first on August 6, 1945 in Hiroshima, and three days later in Nagasaki -- has pushed for the abolition of the weapons of mass destruction ever since. US ambassador John Roos attended the ceremony held each year to remember the attack, reflecting US President Barack Obama’s push for a world without nuclear weapons. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also attended, becoming the first UN chief to take part in the annual event at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

The ceremony began with the laying of wreaths by Akiba, Kan and government officials, as well as representatives of survivors. Participants observed a one-minute silence at 8:15 am (2315 GMT) when the nuclear bomb was dropped. “Little Boy”, the four-tonne uranium bomb detonated over Hiroshima, caused a blinding flash and a fireball hot enough to melt sand into glass and vaporise every human within a one mile (1.6 kilometre) radius. An estimated 140,000 people died instantly in Hiroshima or succumbed to burns and radiation sickness soon after the blast, and over 70,000 perished as a result of the Nagasaki attack three days later. The United States has never apologised for the twin attacks which, surveys show, most Americans believe were necessary to bring a quick end to the war and avoid a land invasion that could have been more costly. Others see the attacks as unnecessary and experimental atrocities. Nowadays, the global stockpile has a blast capacity of 150,000 Hiroshima bombs.

Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba in his opening remarks said that they greeted this August 6 with re-energised determination that no one else should ever have to suffer such horror. We hope the human race must not repeat the horror caused by atomic bombs and nations start talks for an international treaty to eliminate all nuclear weapons in the near future.

By using the atom bomb America conquered Japan and intimidated the world. Superficially they enjoyed the pleasure of defeating the world, but that is only apparent. Internally the apprehension is there: "Reaction may come". Such a disastrous action is self-condemned; a heinous crime. But it is just the collective result of our karma. ... So none to blamed, but everywhere the grace of the Lord have to be traced. The Lord is always there, even in the worst period of our lives. He is waiting, waiting to help us. We must only look up for His grace. With sincerity, with all sincerity. ... You want to become a master and thus are searching for servants, hunting after things for your service. Take the opposite course, become a servant and search for your master, your Lord. Then you will be uplifted, taken up to a higher domain. If you want to live in a higher domain you will have to serve. If you want to be a master, then you will have to come down in the lower zone, where you can be a master.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
“Ocean of Nectar”
Chapter One - “Higher Satisfaction”

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