Hundreds gathered Thursday night to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, and remember its victims.

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Hundreds gathered near Green Lake Park in Seattle on Thursday night to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, and to remember its victims.

From Hiroshima to Hope attendees decorated lanterns with Japanese text that translated to words like “health,” “energy” and “sorrow,” to set in the lake with candles inside.

Pictures of death and destruction in the aftermath of “Fat Man,” the bomb dropped by the U.S. on the city of Nagasaki, were set up on the lakeside path.

That bomb killed 70,000 people and prompted Japan to surrender in World War II. Three days earlier, the bomb dubbed “Little Boy” had hit Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people on Aug. 6, 1945.

Seattle’s Kokon Taiko drumming group and other troupes performed on a small stage, followed by speakers including Dr. James Yamazaki, who in 1949 was the lead physician of the U.S. Atomic Bomb Medical Team assigned to Nagasaki to survey the effects of the bomb.

Estela Ortega, the executive director of El Centro de la Raza, said, at the event, historians have said the atomic bombings of Japan were not necessary to win the war.

“[Victims] met an unimaginable and horrendous death in what one day history will come to properly rename as genocide,” she said.

Celeste Larson, of Northgate, sat with friends and folded paper cranes to give away. She recently returned from a three-year stint teaching elementary-school students in Japan. She said she was struck when she visited memorials in Hiroshima.

“I have a paper trail across Seattle,” she said of her origami. Later she added: “I figured this would be the right place to enjoy the process of folding them.”

Historically, the U.S. rationale for the bombs was to avoid what would have been a bloody ground assault on the Japanese mainland.

The mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, called Thursday for President Obama and other leaders to increase efforts toward making the world free of nuclear weapons.