HIROSHIMA COMMEMORATION

The Peace Bell will ring in the name of the friendship of nations!

Montréal, le 5 août 2013 – Montréal Space for Life suggests a time of contemplation on the occasion of the Peace Ceremony to be held at 7 p.m. at the Botanical Garden. This event recalls the memory of the Hiroshima bombing on August 6, 1945, 68 years ago. At the invitation of Montréal Mayor, Laurent Blanchard and Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of Space for Life, the ceremony will be held in the Japanese Garden in the presence of Tatsuo Arai, Consul General of Japan in Montréal, Claude Gagné, President of the Montréal Japanese Garden and Pavilion Foundation, and Gilles Vincent, Director of the Botanical Garden. The Peace Ceremony will be held simultaneously with the one organized in Hiroshima on August 6, Japanese time.

A unique occasion

During this ceremony marked with contemplation, the Peace Bell will ring at exactly 7:15 p.m., the time when the atomic bomb fell on the city of Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945, wiping out tens of thousands of human lives. This is one of the only times in the year when the population can hear this bell, whose ringing recalls not only the passage of time, but also the need to unite for global peace. The Peace Bell will be rung 68 times during the day on August 6, in memory of this tragedy.

Peace dove

Every year on August 6, the mayor of Hiroshima reads the Declaration of Peace, which is followed by the release of a thousand doves, carrying the voices of peace to the heavens. The work of the city of Hiroshima, a “Dove for Peace”, presented this summer as part of International Mosaïcultures at the Botanical Garden, represents a dove, recognized peace symbol, with hands that spring out from the ground, part of the sincere wish for a peaceful world, where all nations help each other despite national and cultural differences.

A bell for hope

Given to the City of Montréal in 1998 by the City of Hiroshima, the Peace Bell which is located in the Japanese Garden at the Botanical Garden, was created based on an original design by Masahiko Katori, a well-known Japanese artist. The motto “Hope for the Future” can be found here. Peace doves are engraved at the top, overhanging The Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and The Southern Cross constellations, symbols of the two terrestrial hemispheres. There are also other symbols of typical Japanese culture. An important part of Buddhist traditions and temples, this bell gives concrete expression to the friendship and peace pact signed by the City of Hiroshima with the City of Montréal. Only five other cities in the world have a peace bell given to them by the City of Hiroshima: Volgograd (Russia), Hanover (Germany), Honolulu (United States), Chongqing (Peoples Republic of China) and Taegu (South Korea).