29th annual Hiroshima commemoration and peace service ceremony held on Oahu

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It’s been 73 years since the bombing of Hiroshima during WWII.

The anniversary was honored Monday with the ringing of the peace bell.

The ceremony was held to remember those who were killed in the attack, which marked the end of the war.

The 29th Annual Hiroshima Commemoration and Peace Service was held at Izumo Taishakyo Mission in Chinatown on Oahu.

It also recognized the long-standing relationship between Hawaii and Hiroshima.

“Hiroshima and Hawaii are linked together in war, suffering,” said Wayne Miyao, Hiroshima Hawaii Sister State Committee. “We feel that the peace bell, which is a donation from the Hiroshima city, will help people heal and make them feel good for themselves.”>

A Hiroshima-Hawaii sister park is in the works.
     
It will be located near Pearl Harbor, and if all goes as planned, it should be completed in a few years.

The Peace Bell Ceremony opened with a blessing and purification ceremony conducted by Reverend Daiya Amano of the Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii and includes special messages presented by Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Keynote Speaker Wayne Miyao, and other community and religious leaders.
 
Y Teens, participating in the 57th Annual YMCA Let’s Get Together Honolulu – Hiroshima student exchange program, were in Hiroshima this year to mark the historic day. 

Since 1960, the youth of the YMCA of Honolulu and Hiroshima have alternated each summer hosting each other in their home cities – sharing their culture, hospitality and messages of peace.  

In their place for the Honolulu ceremony was speaker Kekoa Shirota-Ho, an alumnus of the Let’s Get Together program, who shared his thoughts on the impact of cultural exchange and friendship.
 
At the conclusion of the ceremony, all attendees rang the Hiroshima Peace Bell which is a replica of the Hiroshima Peace Bell in Hiroshima.
 
Hiroshima Peace Bell
In 1985, the Hiroshima Prefectural Government presented a replica of the Hiroshima Peace bell as a gift to the people of Hawaii, in recognition of their long-standing and strong relationship.  

These bonds include a sister city relationship established in 1959 between Honolulu and Hiroshima and a sister chamber relationship between Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce and the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and industry created in 1981.  

The Hiroshima Peace Bell was dedicated and placed next to the Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii in 1990.
 

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