A MOVING tribute to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was held in Haverfordwest on Wednesday (August 6).
Organised by Pembrokeshire Peace Group, the event was one of several around Wales to remember those who died when atomic bombs were dropped on the two cities in 1945.
More than 200,000 people were killed instantly by heat, fire and radiation from the two blasts, and hundreds of thousands were made sick and died over the following weeks, months and years from the effects of radioactivity.
The evening saw a local harpist and Ceredigion based indie-rock band Scene Red perform on Picton Playing fields, followed by a candlelit procession towards the Cleddau.
Former Newport town crier Robbie Manson then gave an impassioned anti-war speech outside County Hall.
At dusk, a two-minute silence was observed, before the paper candle boats were released on to the river.
Mr Manson said it was important to remember all the lives lost in the Second World War, not just British lives.
“It’s important we remember the suffering,” he said.
“Although it’s more than half a century away its still with us today to the tune of something like half a million pounds a year for 20 years.”
Established in the 1980s, during a time of intense debate about nuclear weaponry, the annual commemoration was held for many years at the Iron Bridge in Newport.
It was moved to Haverfordwest several years ago, in a bid to better connect with people from ‘the seat of the county’.
Events were also held across Wales, including on the Maes at this year’s National Eisteddfod in Llanelli, in a bid to send a clear message to the Welsh Government and to all Governments across the world will be that nuclear weapons are not wanted or needed.
Jill Gough, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) Cymru national secretary, said: “Nuclear weapons only ensure a more dangerous and fragile future.
“British nuclear disarmament would set an example to the rest of the world – to nuclear weapons states and those aspiring to acquire nuclear weapons.”