tideshift

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hibakusha

From Union County Peace Council:

PEACE GROUPS, COMMUNITY AND LOCAL CHURCHES TO COMMEMORATE NAGASAKI ATOMIC BOMBING VICTIMS ON AUG 9TH IN ELIZABETH AND WESTFIELD

On Wednesday, August 9th - which will mark the 61st anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped on the city of Nagasaki, Japan - there will be worldwide commemorative events - two of them in Union County.

At 11 AM, an annual gathering of local officials, clergy, artists and peace advocates will gather in the garden of St. John's Episcopal Church, at 61 Broad St, in Elizabeth, near City Hall and the Union County Courthouse. Two "peace trees" were planted there in commemoration of atomic bomb victims during previous visits by atomic bomb survivors, otherwise known as 'hibakusha'. St. John's church celebrates its 300th anniversary this year.

There will be speakers, poetry, music performed by Susan Morehead, and light refreshments afterwards.

Later on that same evening at 7 PM, a commemorative program will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Westfield, at 1 E. Broad Street. This program will also have music and speakers including Mr. Sato, an atomic bomb survivor from Japan who will speak of his experience and warn of the continuing dangers of nuclear weapons.

This program will also feature the film "The Last Atomic Bomb" - a powerful documentary mostly about the Nagasaki bomb which was premiered to an audience (many of them nuclear survivors) in Nagasaki in August 9th of last year for the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

"The film crosses generations, focusing on survivors who tell this story and on young people who carry on their legacy to face the growing threat of nuclear weapons today."

These events are held throughout the world annually in solidarity with the Japanese nuclear survivors, who travel throughout the world calling for "No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis" and calling for abolition of all nuclear weapons.

The Mayors for Peace "2020 Vision" campaign calls for global disarmament and abolition of all nuclear weapons by the year 2020 and was started by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At present, over 1300 mayors around the globe, including many cities in the United States have signed on to support this initiative.

These events are sponsored by the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance Committee, Union County Peace Council, New Jersey Peace Council, St. John's Episcopal Church of Elizabeth, the First United Methodist Church of Westfield and Word Out!

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