Kirsten Oswald MP recently hosted a meeting in Westminster where she was extremely honoured to be visited by The Hibakushu- the remaining survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
Kirsten was acting in her role as vice-chair of the Parliamentary Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament group.
Aware that as the years pass, their group is diminishing, the Hibakushu have devoted themselves to relating their experiences of the atomic bomb attack to people around the world.
As the only people in history to have faced the destructive force of nuclear weaponry, they see it as their duty to spread the word of their horror, never were the words - ‘lest we forget’ - more appropriate.
Kirsten opened the meeting by saying: ‘We are very fortunate indeed to have this unique opportunity to hear from and meet with the Hibakusha.
“This chance to hear directly from nuclear survivors is absolutely vital to increasing our understanding of the true impact of nuclear weapons and to making sure that we all realise very clearly that the issue of whether or not it is right to have these weapons is actually about people. Real people, and real lives.”
Then it was the turn of the survivors themselves to give their testimonies. Kuniko Kimura mentioned the horror of the day itself, saying: “On the street people were in panic, running and walking around silently or lying collapsed. They had injuries and burns so bad that they were unable to be distinguished as men or women and I was crying all the time from the intolerable fear.”
Afterwards Ms Oswald said, “I felt humbled and very privileged to hear from these nuclear survivors. They were so dignified and straightforward in what they said. They had seen death and destruction in circumstances.”