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Cupertino honors sister city with Bell Ringing for Peace

Cupertino honors sister city with Bell Ringing for Peace

As thousands streamed into theaters to watch “Oppenheimer,” a movie reminding us of the devastation caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a group of community members and city officials gathered in Cupertino’s Memorial Park on Sunday, Aug. 6, to commemorate the bombing of Toyokawa, Cupertino’s sister city in Japan.

Toyokawa was of considerable military significance during World War II, as it was home to the Japanese Naval Arsenal that produced weapons and munitions for the Japanese Imperial Army. On Aug. 7, 1945, just a few weeks before the end of the war, the US Air Force targeted Toyokawa, dropping 813 tons of explosives that decimated the city and killed about 2,500 citizens. Many of the victims were schoolchildren and young women who worked in the arsenal.

Cupertino held its Bell Ringing for Peace to commemorate this tragedy and mark the city’s 45th year of sisterhood with Toyokawa.

 

The annual event attracted many, including dignitaries such as Cupertino Mayor Hung Wei, Cupertino-Toyokawa Sister Cities executives, and Noguchi Yasushi, the consulate general of Japan in San Francisco. The guests spoke during the ceremony, recounting the bombing and pledging a peaceful relationship between the US and Japan. The group gathered around the senbazuru, or tower of 1,000 cranes, ringing bells for 30 seconds in harmony.

Anika Mukherjee is a student intern with Cupertino Toyokawa Sister Cities.