Central New York

Hiroshima Day Procession Sets a Solemn Tone in Downtown Syracuse

The Syracuse Peace Council’s Hiroshima Day Procession commemorating the anniversary of America’s bombing of Hiroshima began near Hanover Square and ended just outside of the Everson Museum of Art. (c) 2018 Keir Chapman

Click here to learn about what occurred when America dropped a bomb on Hiroshima over 70 years ago, and how some citizens in Syracuse are commemorating the anniversary of this event.

Audio Transcript: Syracuse Hiroshima Day Procession

Keir Chapman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — It has been 73 years since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. On Aug. 6, 1945, America deployed the first ever atomic bomb on Hiroshima, an event that killed at least 150,000 people total. Three days later, the U.S. dropped another such bomb on Nagasaki. These two attacks ultimately led to Japan’s surrender on Aug. 15, 1945.

The Syracuse Peace Council (SPC) hosted a procession on Monday to commemorate the Hiroshima bombing. According to Askar Salikhov, an intern with the SPC, the march was also intended to highlight the progress towards the organization’s ultimate goal of banning all nuclear weapons.

“The world has actually come to an agreement at the U.N. to pass a vote to ban nuclear weapons,” Salikhov said. “This is a big achievement, and a big victory for us.”

The procession that spanned over half a mile down the streets of downtown Syracuse, concluded outside the Everson Museum of Art. There, guest speakers addressed the crowd to talk in greater detail about Hiroshima and the current dangers nuclear weapons present.

Jack Mannion, husband of former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, shared his experience about witnessing a nuclear explosion while serving as a navigator in the United States Air Force.

“Light, heat, and sound, those three things are interactive when a bomb goes off,” Mannion said. “So, if you see a bright light, you’re done. It’s a snap of the finger, you’re obliterated.”

Mannion went on to put the death toll of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki into perspective.

“The city of Syracuse has about 140,000. 220,000 were killed [in Hiroshima and Nagasaki],” Mannion said.

As of today, 60 member states of the United Nations have signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. However, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France all vocally opposed the treaty, boycotting the negotiations and the final U.N. General Assembly vote.