Hiroshima marks 66th anniversary of bombing

People gather for the commemoration at Hiroshima's peace park August 6. (NCR photos/Joshua McElwee)

HIROSHIMA – Echoing over the crowd of some 50,000 gathered here from around the world, the bell rang eight times. The clock read 8:15 a.m. -- sixty-six years to the minute from the world’s first dropping of the atomic bomb.

Commemorating the event with a solemn dedication of the names of the over 200,000 who are counted among those killed in the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing, and from the effects of radiation afterward, today’s annual ceremony also saw speakers and attendees raise questions about Japan’s nuclear future nearly five months since the ongoing nuclear meltdown at the Fukushimi Daiichi power plant.

In his remarks on the occasion, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told the crowd, many of whom wore buttons reading “Change to natural energy,” that the country would “deeply reflect over the conventional belief that nuclear energy is safe.”

NCR was covering the event. Check back for more more coverage soon. In the meantime, see below for photos from the commemoration.

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

Earlier story: Kyoto bishop speaks out on nuclear energy

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