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NSKK NEWSLETTER distributed by
The Nippon Sei Ko Kai
(Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan)
Memorial Service at Nagasaki
by Makie Hamao
JAPAN 051230-3
December 30, 2005

A Layperson of Fukuoka Church, Diocese of Kyushu, reflects on the Memorial service for those who suffered from the Atomic Bomb at Nagasaki

[The Nippon Sei Ko Kai - Japan] An atomic bomb was dropped on Japan during World War II. Nagasaki was annihilated by the atomic bomb on August 9, 1945. 60 years have passed since then.

The Memorial Service for Atomic Bomb Victims was held at Nagasaki Holy Trinity Church this year, as it has been done every year. About 40 people gathered. They were from the congregation of Holy Trinity and from five churches in our Diocese. I also joined this service.

A silent prayer was offered shortly before 11:02, the time the bomb was dropped. I closed my eyes and the sound of vehicles, the voices of people’s conversation and the chirring of cicadas in chorus all reached my ears. I felt that 60 years ago the people that had lived here also had heard all these sounds. Then, I heard an explosion over my head, as if the atomic bomb had exploded. It was the sound of a city siren ringing out to tell the time that the atomic bomb had dropped. The atomic bomb had dropped over everyone who lived here.

During the service, each name of a Christian atomic bomb victim was read. While I listened as these names were read one by one, I again felt deeply that there were daily lives of people under the atomic bomb.

After the service, we had a sharing time at the church hall. During the conversation, I looked upon the blue sky and imagined that the outside would be very hot compared to the comfortably air-conditioned room. This feeling between reality and imagination created a gap in my mind. I know there are many problems in Iraq or Palestine and more problems over the world, besides a large numbers of problems in Japan now. But how much do I know the reality? There is a great gap between my knowledge and reality. I took these problems seriously but I could not actually feel somebody else’s problem. I was irritated because of a great gap between my understanding and reality.

Attending the Service for Atomic Bomb Victims in Nagasaki on August 9 gave me an opportunity to bring this gap into reality in my heart. I had driven all these problems away from my daily life.

The first step toward Peace is standing on another side and thinking about it. This ordinary action is exceedingly difficult. I should learn the strength that the congregation of Nagasaki has. They have kept the Service every year for atomic victims and they have never forgotten the victims. “Never kill anyone”: I was taught these words when I was a child. I want be such a pure-hearted adult and to keep saying these words forever.