The Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka and President of the Association of Hiroshima Mr. Michio Umemoto have unveiled the “Stone for Peace” at the ceremony hosted today at the Botanical Garden of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“It is my great pleasure that Sarajevo has become the 111th city of Europe and the world to receive this stone and thus join the efforts of the peace promoting mission of the Stone for Peace Association of Hiroshima, which has been going on for 26 years. I believe that the City should always be at the forefront of these activities, so let’s turn towards the future and do everything in our power for the world to become a more beautiful and safer place for living. We owe that to our young people” said Mayor Skaka and thanked Japan and the City of Hiroshima who made a huge step towards achieving that vision today.
The Stone of Hiroshima, which will be on display from now on in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is one of the 200 stones which were taken from the streetcar tracks near Aioi bridge, which was located just 200 m to the north of the epicentre of the explosion of the atomic bomb which was dropped on this Japanese city on August 6th, 1945. Each of the stones has an engraved image of the Japanese goddess of mercy Kannon and the words “From Hiroshima”, and it took 10000 people and seven years for all the stones to be carved.
In the words of the President of the Association Mr. Umemoto, this stone should warn people about the tragic war destruction that Sarajevo and Hiroshima have gone through, and draw attention to the constant need to fight for peace, harmony and mutual appreciation. He expressed his belief that the ties between the countries which possess this stone will be expanded and grow stronger.
“Sarajevo has become an exceptionally beautiful and colourful city, and it plays an important role as the leading city in the Association “Mayors for Peace”, said the Ambassador of Japan to BiH H.E. Kazuya Ogawa in his address. He noted that Sarajevo and Hiroshima have signed the Declaration on the Exchange of Experiences and Cooperation in the field of culture, student exchange, environmental protection and promotion of peace.
Today’s ceremony was concluded with the presentation of drawings of Sarajevo primary school students to our friends from Hiroshima and the performance of our youngest citizens – children’s choir “Palčići” who sang “The Stone for Peace is Marching Through the World” and “Together We are More Beautiful, Stronger, Better”.