9 Aug 2005

Sirens to sound in Northern Marianas to mark Nagasaki bombing

8:35 am on 9 August 2005

Today marks the sixty years since a US aircrew released an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Nagasaki, resulting in the deaths of 80,000 people.

The event's being marked with a peace ceremony on the island of Tinian in the Northern Marianas, from where the bomber launched.

At sixty years to the minute of the bombing, US veterans, Japanese survivors, soldiers and local officials will hold a moment of silence as memorial sirens are sounded.

A Colour Guard will look on as wreaths are laid at the Nagasaki Pit where the bombs were loaded.

Children and veterans will later be able to place their hand print on blue tiles for permanent display on a monument in the peace park.

Our correspondent in Guam, RLene Steffy, says residents of Tinian hope improved memorial sites will help develop the island's economy in the future.

"The runway has been expanded as a matter of fact, to incorporate a larger airport, and so there are economic plans for growth in Tinian. Because Tinian is part of the Northern Marianas and is a Commonwealth of the United States, there are many opportunities for growth. There is a plan to put a national museum up in Tinian, to be able to house and to recognise the significance that it played at the end of the war."