Friday, August 28, 2020

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembered in Des Moines 2020

 By Christine Sheller

On August 6, 2020, Des Moines area citizens gathered to remember the horrific events of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan 75 years ago. 

This has become an annual event in Des Moines.  It has become tradition to gather at the Japanese Bell, given to the state of Iowa by Japan some years ago, as a gift of friendship. We usually gather on the 6th, and have several items on the program.  At the end of the program, we line up to lay flowers on the bell, and take turns ringing the unusual Japanese Bell.

(IPN/ D. Sheller)

(IPN/ D. Sheller)

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the planning committee planned the event a little differently this year.  This year we recorded several persons speaking their parts for the program, and members of the planning committee rang the bell 75 times for the 75 years it has been since the bombing.  Citizens gathered at 10:58 am and lined up to lay flowers on the base of the bell.  A video is available that combines the recorded spoken pieces and recorded video of people laying flowers at the bell, and the bell being rung.  This occurred Thursday, August 6, 10:58 am, the time the first bomb fell, in Japanese time.  The video was available by the 9th, the date of the second bomb.  Thanks to Rodger Routh for recording and editing the videos.

Media was present.  Below are links to the videos and a link to media coverage.

Here are videos from the Hiroshima/ Nagasaki commemoration in Des Moines Aug. 6. There is a short and a longer version.

Here is the link to the Channel 5 coverage;   

 This event was planned by several groups including Iowa Peace Network.


Christine Sheller is editor and coordinator at Iowa Peace Network.  She is an M. Div. graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary.

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