ANNUAL HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI VIGIL in ASHLAND, AUGUST 6 to 9
"GLOBAL SUICIDE: NUCLEAR REACTORS, WASTE, WEAPONS"
The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in northern Japan in 2011 will be commemorated during the annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Vigil in downtown Ashland August 6 through 9. The dangers of nuclear weapons and power plants will also be addressed at this 27th annual vigil in Ashland.
The opening ceremony for the vigil will begin with the lighting of a memorial candle at 8 a.m. Monday, August 6 on the lawn at the entrance to Lithia Park. A moment of silence will follow, exactly 67 years after the bombing of Hiroshima. Paula Sohl, Associate Minister of the United Church of Christ Congregational, will lead the opening ceremony, and Representative Peter Buckley will offer a few remarks. Ashland City Council Member Carol Voisin will read the proclamation of Ashland as a nuclear-free zone.
Performers in the Plaza during the vigil include:
*The Rogue Valley Peace Choir Ensemble and 2006 Japan Journey Choir
members will sing at 6:30 p.m. on the opening day, August 6.
*Masako Cross, a native of Japan and a singer and songwriter who
emphasizes themes of universal love and peace, will sing at
2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7.
*The Whistling Elk Drum group will perform at 6 p.m., also on Tuesday.
This Native American group is part of the Red Earth Descendants
community, based in Ashland.
The public is invited to explore a "Nuclear Maze" on the Plaza after the opening ceremony, and until 7 p.m. Wednesday August 8. This educational display teaches the history of nuclear weapons and their impact on communities in the past and present. This year the maze includes a new section, Strong Children, art work created by children of the Fukushima disaster area.
The closing ceremony, led by Paula Sohl, will be held in the Japanese Garden in Lithia Park at 7 p.m. on Thursday August 9, the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Those attending the closing ceremony will be invited to float sunflowers, the symbol of the nuclear-free movement, down the stream that flows through the Japanese Garden. The Japanese Association of Southern Oregon will sing, and Richard Williams will play the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese flute.
Lead sponsor of the vigil is the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) of Ashland. "We hold these events to inform ourselves and others of the horrors of nuclear war and to remember the victims of all aspects of the nuclear cycle," said Jill Mackie of the Ashland branch.
For more information contact Jill Mackie, 541-488-9286.