Japan Marks 69th Hiroshima Anniversary

Paper lanterns float in the Motoyasu River in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome (background) at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on August 6, 2014. The Japanese western city marked the 69th anniversary of the world's first atomic attack. TORU YAMANAKA / AFP - Getty Images

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Japan marked the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima on Wednesday with prayers and paper lanterns at the city's Peace Memorial Park.

About 45,000 people stood for a minute of silence in the western city's peace park, near the epicenter of the 1945 bombing that killed up to 140,000 people. The bombing of Nagasaki three days later killed another 70,000, prompting Japan's surrender in World War II.

The number of surviving victims, known as "hibakusha," was just more than 190,000 this year. Their average age is 79, and many of the attendants at the ceremony were their younger relatives and descendants. Hiroshima officials said 5,507 survivors died over the past year.

-Associated Press