Seventy-five years after the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a group of people gathered in A.K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge before sunrise to solemnly commemorate the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the peace that ensured thereafter.
The “Message of Peace” event was hosted by the Manhattan Project National Historical Park early Thursday morning as part of their days of remembrance for the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings.
Guests were invited to ring the park’s International Friendship Bell and share their personal reason for ringing the symbolic bell.
The bell hangs from Peace Pavilion and was proposed by Oak Ridge citizens as a symbol of unity between Japan and the East Tennessee lab.
A virtual bell ringing is being held online until midnight Aug. 9 so that everyone will have a chance to signify their support for the friendship between Japan and Oak Ridge.
The organizers also asked guests to bring or send handmade origami cranes for a time capsule project. Each crane should include a written message of peace on its wings to celebrate the friendship formed between Japan and the Tennessee city since the trauma of the bombings in 1945.
The National Park Service is accepting cranes by mail, email and social media until Aug. 30. Instructions are available on the Manhattan Project’s page.
The time capsule will be buried at the end of August and reopened in 2045 on the 100th anniversary of the bombings.