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Photo: Mark Bishop

As in previous years, supporters of Hastings against War gathered in Alexandra Park, Hastings, on Hiroshima Day 6th August, to commemorate the anniversary of the dropping of the first nuclear bomb, and to uphold the Japanese tradition of floating lanterns at sunset.

Photo: Stewart Rayment

Our guest speakers were Hastings Borough Councillors Margi O'Callaghan and Nigel Sinden. Margi O'Callaghan, our deputy mayor, said she was proud to have worked with Cllr Maya Evans on getting a motion passed in Council in 2020 which endorsed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). In backing the treaty Hastings joined other municipalities around the world including Paris, Berlin, Edinburgh and Philadelphia.
It is important to remember the atomic bombings because if the memory is kept alive it becomes less likely such devastation will be repeated.

Cllr Nigel Finden
(photo: Stewart Rayment)

Nigel Sinden spoke about the bombing of Nagasaki. The bomb was dropped above a valley in the port city. This had the effect of increasing the devastation in that confined area. The Americans, having already used a uranium bomb on Hiroshima, wanted to test a plutonium bomb; Nagasaki was, in effect, the testing ground for this devastating new explosive.

In past years the ceremony in Hastings has involved launching traditional Japanese floating lanterns on the main lake in Alexandra Park, but increased restrictions over the last two years have seen the lanterns being placed round the edge of the water, becoming more conspicuous after sunset. This year hundreds of electric candles were placed with the lanterns to encircle the lake.