Daily News

5. Flame from A-bombing delivered to Pope Francis

A group of advocates for the abolition of nuclear weapons has delivered to Pope Francis a flame kept alight since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

The group, organized by a nonprofit based in Kyoto, met the pontiff on Wednesday in the Vatican.

The flame is maintained in the city of Yame in Fukuoka Prefecture. It was brought there from Hiroshima, which was devastated by an atomic bomb in the closing days of World War Two.

Pope Francis is known for his strong wish to see nuclear weapons abolished. He has expressed his desire to visit Hiroshima and the other atomic-bombed city, Nagasaki.

A survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, Setsuko Thurlow, was part of the group. She now lives in Canada, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The pope blew upon the "flame of peace" when the group asked him to do so as a symbolic gesture of wishing that no such embers from a conflict will ever be ignited again.

She expressed the hope that Pope Francis will deliver a strong message promoting peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Another member of the group is Yusa Okada. The girl from Nagasaki is a granddaughter of an atomic bombing survivor. The first-year junior high school student said she wants the pope to tell the world that there should be an end to war.