In an instant, a city was reduced to a desolate wasteland.
In a moment, tens of thousands of people lost their lives.
In a heartbeat, the world was changed.
There are few moments in history that have almost immeasurable impact. The bombing of Hiroshima is one of them. Sunday marked the 72nd anniversary of that epoch defining event.
It is a time for peace
Across the world people commemorated it in public and private ways. Maybe you did, maybe you will remember the bombing of Nagasaki tomorrow maybe you are already a Mayor for Peace.
If not let me introduce you to an amazing organisation.
The Mayors for Peace programme was born of frustration.
In the 70s Takeshi Araki, the Mayor of Hiroshima, saw that the American Airforce re-enacted the bombing of Hiroshima at a Texas air show. He was disgusted. Had they learnt nothing from this tragic event?
He decided that it was time that we faced up to what had happened in that fateful moment. It was time for peace.
Time for Mayors for Peace
Takeshi decided to strive for lasting peace throughout the world, which is no mean feat. His plan was to arouse concern among the citizens of the world in the hope that they would be brought closer together. This in turn would lead to a rejection of nuclear weapons and destructive wars.
As a vehicle for this he began the Mayors for Peace.
The organisation has big aims. The abolition of nuclear weapons and peace throughput the world.
These objectives may seem immense. They may seem too vast for your year in office but take a moment to really consider what Takeshi was trying to do. He wanted to raise awareness and keep peace on the agenda. For that to work it needs to happen in your community.
Aren’t you the kind of person who can do that?
Sure, mayors and council chairs can’t bring about world peace but they can help create a sense of fellowship with Hiroshima. They can help the next generation to understand the horrors of nuclear weapons, the misery of war.
World peace will only come about if everyone in the world strives for it. Can you make that happen in your community?
Make time for peace
I know that you are busy and that you have a lot that you want to achieve while in office but take a moment to consider the destruction and devastation that changed Hiroshima forever.
Can you make some time for peace?
Time to become a Mayor for Peace
Are you convinced yet?
Good because signing up is easy. You need to fill out the form you can find here:
There is a membership fee of 2000 Yen but at current exchange rates that’s less than £15.
But you probably don’t want to run out and send of the form just yet. You should consider submitting a motion to your council first. This will give your membership legitimacy as well as giving the programme some publicity.
Once all of that is done it’s time to work out what you’re going to do about it. How about an event with the local schools? Or you could have an event to mark joining the program? Is there a local peace group that can help?
Aiming for more Mayors for Peace
In the UK there are currently 80 communities that are members of the program, including Abingdon where I was Mayor. If we can double that number then The UK would make it into the Mayor for Peace top ten.
Maybe that’s a bold aim but so is world peace. And that’s the thing about world peace, it’ll only work if everyone in the world is involved. That includes everyone in your community, are you the person to get them involved?
Just like world peace we can only do it one community at a time.