In order to bring attention to the growing demand for nuclear disarmament, peace activists across Massachusetts and in Rhode Island held dozens of events marking the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan in August, 1945. Here are some highlights of those events.
The Walpole Peace and Justice Group
The Walpole Peace and Justice Group help a peace vigil on August 9, 2022, remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki and calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and for the U.S. to join the International Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In commemorating the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombings Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a moment of silence was held for all the lives lost and altered forever on August 6 and 9, 1945. Participants read the poem, “Original Child Bomb,” by Thomas Merton.
The 6th Annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial Wind and Wings, Brookline
The memorial included a performance of the award-winning play, The Face of Jizo. It tells the story of Mitsue, a 23-year-old woman and her father, Takezo, three years after the bombing of Hiroshima. It is a searing comedy and tragedy that takes place solely in Mitsue’s mind. It is only at the end that the audience realizes Takezo is dead.
Waltham Concerned Citizens
Waltham Concerned Citizens (WCC) sponsoring a vigil to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Saturday, August 6, from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m.
Hiroshima Remembrance at Fall River’s Bi-centennial Veterans’ Memorial Park on the Taunton River.
Friends Meeting at Cambridge
Members of Friends Meeting at Cambridge held a community reading of Thomas Merton’s “Original Child Bomb” at the Quaker Meeting House on August 6th. After the reading there was a procession to the Charles River to float origami boats and peace cranes.
Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice, Pittsfield
Twenty-four individuals were present during the ten minutes of silence at 8:15 a.m., the time the bomb was actually dropped. In the afterward, two participants were able to describe their experience of being at a similar vigil in Hiroshima itself some time ago and what it felt like to look up into the sky at that time and imagine the ultimate horror of that day, 77 years ago.
Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment
On Saturday, August 6, residents from Watertown and nearby cities and towns held a silent vigil in Watertown Square in commemoration of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945. Following the vigil, they gathered on the MDCR Dock on the Charles River. Rev. Andrew Goldhar, minister at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Watertown, opened our program with a message of peace and solidarity with peace loving peoples throughout the world. Shivani Sharma, a student activist and recent graduate of Watertown High School, joined in calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and called on us to follow the Kingian principles of nonviolence. The program ended with songs by Cindy Maps from Belmont. We then moved to the edge of the Dock to watch the display of candle boats and to reflect on the tragedy of August 6th and 9th accompanied by soulful flute music by Sue-Ellen Hershman Tcherepnin.
The Merrimack Valley People for Peace, Andover
On August 9th, The Merrimack Valley People for Peace held a silent vigil at the Old Town Hall in Andover.
Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council and Martha’s Vineyard Friends Meeting, Edgartown
Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council and Martha’s Vineyard Friends Meeting gather for a remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagaski on the 77th anniversary of the bombings.
City of Easthampton
This year’s commemoration was sponsored by the City of Easthampton with support and co sponsorship from Massachusetts Peace Action, Demilitarize Western Mass, the Emily Williston Memorial Library, WM Code Pink, WM Raging Grannies, Treehouse Foundation, Prosperity Candle, Mt Tom Ice Cream and Valley Paddler. Exquisite flute music was played by Nancy Janoson, and a Peace Bell forged of used artillery US shells in Vietnam was rung by veterans Ted Stock and Stan Marron. The nun and monks of the New England Peace Pagoda led a 6 mile peace walk into town over the mountain from Holyoke and led the group in chanting and drumming as the traditional lanterns were towed out upon the pond at dusk.
Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, Greenfield
The vigil was held on Saturday, August 6, at the Greenfield Town Common, 11 AM to noon, to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and call for rapid nuclear disarmament worldwide.