We honored the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing by joining the virtual memorial service from the City of Hiroshima. We also received a letter from our Sisters in Japan that we'd like to share with you here.
|Photo Credit: The Dayton International Peace Museum|
It is very touching and encouraging to know you, our Sisters in the US, are reflecting on the terrible history of the atomic bombing of Japan and how it calls us to action for peace – including the eradication of nuclear bombs in the world.
You have re-read the stories of our Sisters who were living in Hiroshima on that horrifying day. Survivors, such as our sisters, are real treasures! The eye-witnesses of the devastation and the aftermath are becoming few, and their stories must be told and never forgotten.
On this the 75th anniversary, our mayor had a particular opportunity as the Prime Minister was present for this year’s commemoration ceremonies. With courage, he made a direct plea that Japan would lead the world in the push for complete nuclear disarmament. However, to our disappointment, Prime Minister Abe completely ignored the Mayor’s comments and request. Even so, we are proud of the mayor for his leadership in promoting peace. He may be following the example of Pope Francis who when he visited Hiroshima last November boldly articulated anew that " the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral."
We in Notre Dame have much to be proud of this year, not only in the witness of our own sisters’ experiences, but in a special way this year as our Notre Dame family has participated in the ongoing effort to preserve the stories and make them known. Ms. Hiroko Takanashi is a survivor who 25 years ago first published her story in the form of a series of Haiku, “Tears of the Moon.” Her haiku were translated by a Catholic priest, Father Eric Freed. Her younger sister, Akiko, has now written Hiroko’s story in prose. Akiko enlisted the help of a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Hiroshima and of Sister Aiko Watanabe, SND to make this story available in English. The book and translation were recently published in time for this 75th anniversary.
Hiroshima is truly a city of peace. All its children learn the stories and are called from their youngest years to tell the message of peace. We can be glad that our sisters and our many graduates and students are active in proclaiming this message of peace to the world.
Blessings to you all,
Sisters Mitsuko Shoji, Aiko Watanabe, and Mary Corriio
The Japan Leadership Team