First anniversary—Aug. 5-6, 1946 A “Peace Restoration Festival” A “Hiroshima Citizens Rally” for the Restoration of Peace was held on August 5 at what had previously been the Gokoku Shrine. Exactly at 8:15 on August 6, sirens were sounded all over the city. Streetcars, buses and people all stopped moving and those in offices stood, leaving their pens and abacuses on their desks, and paid silent tribute to the victims for one minute.
Second Anniversary—Aug. 6, 1947 April, 1947 - First Post-War Election: Shinso Hamai was elected mayor by popular vote. Mayor Hamai established the Hiroshima Peace Festival Association (Mayor’s Office, Chamber of Commerce, NHK Hiroshima) and decided to hold a Peace Festival on August 6 every year to demonstrate the “Spirit of Hiroshima.” (The generic name of this ceremony had been the Peace Memorial Ceremony since 1965. However, its name was changed to the Ceremony to Pray for Peace in 1968 and again to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in 1975.
Second Anniversary—Aug. 6, 1947 City declared August 6 declared an official holiday Two main events: 1) Peace Ceremony and Memorial Service 2) Peace Festival plus side-events Mayor rang Peace Bell brought from Etajima Naval Academy and read Peace Declaration Camphor trees planted; doves released Peace Festival sponsored costume parade, floats, stages for song and dance (Chamber of Commerce wanted a festive atmosphere to revive economy)
Note from Gen. MacArthur Aug 6, 1947“The atomic bomb has given a new meaning towar. The suffering of Hiroshima serves as awarning to all people everywhere. That is to say,a warning that the ability to harness the power ofnature for war will quickly develop until we havethe power to annihilate humankind and destroyall its structures. Please God, do not let usignore this warning.”
Third anniversary—Aug. 6, 1948 Mayor Hamai’s Peace Declaration: We pray in sincerity that there may never be another Hiroshima in any part of the world,” written on the Peace Tower in huge letters.