Annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemoration will honor victims of World War II atomic bombing, call for nuclear disarmament

Originally Posted on Emerald Media via UWIRE

A commemoration for the victims of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will take place on the morning of Monday, Aug. 6 near Alton Baker Park’s duck pond.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. with speakers, including Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, and end at 9:30 p.m. with participants floating candle lanterns on the park’s duck pond to honor the dead.

The event will also feature discussions and traditional dancing, but it is also a call for total nuclear disarmament, said Susan Cundiff, the chairwoman of Women’s Action for New Directions, a women’s organization advocating for nuclear disarmament and one of the event’s sponsors.

The event will also include drumming by Japanese ensemble Eugene Taiko, traditional Japanese Obon dancing and singing by the Yujin Gakuen Children’s Peace Choir.

Seattle-based author Sarah Fox will discuss her book, “A People’s History of the Nuclear West,” and Utah journalist and playwright Mary Dickson will discuss the effects of decades of nuclear testing on people living downwind from the plants.

More events are being held this year “because of the way nuclear issues have risen to the front and center nationally in so many ways,” Cundiff said, citing President Donald Trump’s interactions with North Korea and his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Participants will also get a chance to mail postcards to local representatives to express their support for nuclear disarmament.

Other events related to nuclear weapons will take place next week, according to a press release by Community Alliance of Lane County, another one of the events’ sponsors.

On Sunday, Aug. 5, the play “Exposed,” a one act by Mary Dickson that explains how decades of nuclear testings affected individuals who lived downwind, will be performed at 2 p.m. at Tsunami Books on 2528 Willamette St. Tickets range from $5 to $50 and can be purchased from the bookstore in person or over the phone.

On Thursday, Aug. 9, a panel and discussion about nuclear weapons titled “What you always wanted to know about nuclear weapons but were afraid to ask,” will take place at 7 p.m. in the Eugene Downtown Library in the Tykeson room.

Cundiff said that this year, it is especially important to recognize the dangers of nuclear weapons and call for their abolishment.

“In the past, there have certainly been years when it has felt more critical than others, although I think it’s always worth remembering, as we remember D-Day,” Cundiff said.

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