Rallying call for peace as Saddleworth marks Hiroshima Day with peace vigil

A RALLYING call for peace was given by the Mayor of Oldham as he joined the Saddleworth community for an annual vigil to mark Hiroshima Day.

The event, organised by Saddleworth Peace Group, saw their members and supporters gather outside Uppermill Methodist Church on August 6.

The day marks the anniversary of when the first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945 on the Japanese city of Hiroshima and three days later a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

The two cities were largely destroyed, with thousands killed instantly and many thousands more dying later from injuries and illness.

The Mayor of Oldham Cllr Javid Iqbal, centre, with group members Michelle Abendstern and Magda Sachs Cllr Paul Fryer and Phillida Shipp, gathered with other members and supporters

Special guest the Mayor of Oldham Cllr Javid Iqbal attended this year’s peace vigil in Uppermill, as did Saddleworth Parish councillors Paul Fryer and Lesley Brown.

The Mayor said: “It is an honour and privilege to be here to remember Hiroshima Day and celebrate this peace event.

“Peace is an important aspect of our community. We need to work together to harmonise the community and create peace.

“We need to put away our differences and inspire each other and our communities to work together.

“I hope and pray we can live together in peace and harmony and learn from each other to aspire to a better earth and better peace.”

Michelle Abendstern reads poems out to the gathering

Poems written by survivors and poets were recited by group member Michelle Abendstern before Magda Sachs read a shortened version of the Mayor of Hiroshima’s speech.

The crowd bowed their heads in reflection during a few minutes’ silence before all joined together to say a commitment to peace.

Then the event moved inside the church hall where guests enjoyed refreshments and had the chance to make a pledge of something they will do in the name of peace.

Saddleworth Peace Group is a local secular group which aims to promote and support peace at community and global level. For further information email saddleworthpg@yahoo.co.uk or visit the group’s Facebook page.

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