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  • Writer's pictureMennonite Women USA

Remembering Hiroshima + Nagasaki

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

On this anniversary of its destruction, MW USA remembers the atomic bombing of Japanese civilians. With the following prayer, we repent the use of violence, grieve its horrific effects, and commit to the work of peace.

God, we repent, today especially, of using weapons of mass destruction in attempts to make peace that can only come from humility and love. We grieve the Japanese little boys murdered by “Little Boy.”* We grieve the Japanese grandparents murdered by “Fat Man.”* We grieve the Earth scorched by relentless human warfare.

God, we commit, today especially, to rejecting the false narrative of “us” and “them.” We commit to decolonizing our minds so that we recognize Manhattan as a word meaning gathering together** rather than a name to coopt for nefarious code purposes. We commit to being faithful global citizens whose welfare is interwoven with the welfare of neighbors near and far, human and environmental.

God, we remember, today especially, the cost of warfare well beyond dollars and sense. Teach us to number our days and no one else’s. Lead us to engage in messy peacebuilding at every level, especially internationally. Remind us that peace begins at home. Lead us in The Way of the Prince of Peace today and every day.

Erica Lea-Simka

Southwest Representative, Mennonite Women USA

Pastor, Albuquerque Mennonite Church

*On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and on August 9, 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. The bombs were named "Little Boy " and "Fat Man." Between 129,000 to 226,000 people were killed. Japan surrendered within days, ending World War II. These atomic bombings are the only use of nuclear weapons in war.*** The work of developing the atomic bomb is the subject of a new movie named 'Oppenheimer' after the physicist who led the effort. The top-secret work was called the 'Manhattan Project.'

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