Hiroshima marks 75 years since atomic bombing in scaled-back ceremony

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Bells tolled in Hiroshima on Thursday for the 75th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing, with ceremonies downsized due to the novel coronavirus and the mayor urging nations to reject selfish nationalism and unite to fight all threats.

Though thousands usually pack the Peace Park in central Hiroshima to pray, sing and lay paper cranes as a symbol of peace, entrance was sharply limited and only survivors and their families could attend the memorial ceremony itself.

Japan marks 75th anniversary of  Hiroshima atomic bombing
A survivor of the atomic bombing is surrounded by photographers and cameramen as she lights incense before praying for the victims in front of a cenotaph at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, early 06 August 2020. EPA-EFE/DAI KUROKAWA

The city said that given the significance of the 75th anniversary of the bombing, that killed 140,000 people before the end of 1945, they had decided to hold the ceremony despite the spread of coronavirus, but with strict precautions in place.

At 8:15 a.m. on Aug 6, 1945, U.S. B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” and obliterated the city, killing 140,000 of an estimated population of 350,000, with thousands more dying later of injuries and radiation-related illnesses.

On Thursday, at the exact time the bomb exploded, the crowd stood for a moment of silence in the heavy summer heat while cicadas shrilled and the Peace Bell rang.


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