Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial Service

A World of Peace

The world as we know it today, is plagued with the haunting memories of the 1945 tragedy dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the form of two atomic bombs. The devastation was colossal and the bombings remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict, till date. With relationships between countries deteriorating, we can only hope for tensions to recede and pray for peace in the world.

St Joseph’s Boys’ High School observed Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day on 18 August 2022 to promote peace, re-affirm faith in diplomacy and raise awareness about the catastrophic effects of the use of nuclear arsenal on the world as a whole.

The memorial service commenced with the lighting of the lamp followed by an invocation to ask for God’s blessings on the two bombed cities, their inhabitants and to pray for the urgent need for peace.

Fr Vishal D’Souza SJ, the administrator of the Primary section of SJBHS, welcomed the dignitaries warmly. Speeches, poems, songs and messages on the occasion helped to bring to the fore the benefits of peace and the impracticality of unrest.

The Chief Guest for the day was the Deputy Consul General of Japan in Bengaluru, Maruo Katsumasa, who delivered his speech stressing on the horrendous effects of the nuclear disaster in the Japanese cities and resolved to work with all the like-minded nations to rally against nuclear proliferation. The special invitee to the memorial service, Mr Guy Kedem, founder of the Israeli Freedom Movement in Israel, in his message mentioned that the service was not all about the number of deaths during the 1945 bombing but the focus was on the fight against ideologies that encroach on a nation’s freedom.

Another special invitee, Ms Ashwini Parthaiah, in her message spelt out the importance of enjoying every moment of our life and that can be achieved only if there is peace. She gave the students a broader perspective by citing examples of her work with refugees all over the world. Mr Daniel, who accompanied the dignitaries also shared her views.

The last speaker for the day was Fr Sunil Fernandes SJ, Principal of SJBHS, who put forth the fact that each one is called to be an ambassador of peace, harmony and reconciliation. He quoted various Holy books and re-iterated the idea of peace as taught in all religions. He called on the students to choose between the greater good and the lesser evil, when faced with difficult choices. The programme concluded with a signature drive to garner support for the propogation of peace in the world, the need for de-escalation of supremacy for world power and the urgent need for nuclear disarmament. The aim at the school level was to de-sensitize the students to violence, mindless destruction and the thought that ‘might’ is not always ‘right’.

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