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Cross found in rubble of Nagasaki cathedral after 1945 atomic bombing returns to Japan

The consequences of the bombing were catastrophic
Urakami catholic cathedral,  1945 AP Photo/ACME/Stanley Troutman
Urakami catholic cathedral, 1945
© AP Photo/ACME/Stanley Troutman

TOKYO, August 8. /TASS/. A wooden cross that was retrieved from the ruins of the Urakami Cathedral following the US nuclear bombing of Japan’s Nagasaki, has been returned to the city, Japanese TV reported on Thursday.

According to media reports, a US marine took the cross to the United States after the war. The marine, who died in 2010, said that the cross had been given to him by a Japanese bishop with whom he had a friendly relationship. The marine later donated the cross to the Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College in Ohio. 

Earlier in the week, the center’s director arrived in Nagasaki to participate in commemoration ceremonies dedicated to the 74th anniversary of the city’s atomic bombing, set to take place on August 9, and handed the cross over to the Archbishop of Nagasaki. The archbishop pointed out that the wooden cross was a symbol of the atrocity that the nuclear weapons had wrought. He pledged that the cross would be put on public display at the Urakami Cathedral, rebuilt after the war.

Nagasaki was the second Japanese city after Hiroshima to come under the US atomic bombings in August 1945. A nuclear bomb nicknamed Fat Man that detonated over the city was nearly twice as powerful as the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6. Although inaccurate aiming and the landscape’s features slightly reduced the damage caused by the bomb’s explosion, the nuclear blast still led to devastating consequences: about 70,000 people were killed instantly and the city was almost wiped off the face of the Earth.