Event: Remembering Hiroshima Peace Walk & Ceremony
When: August 6, 2021
Where: Starting at Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier
The annual Remembering Hiroshima Peace Walk and Ceremony on August 6 began at 6:45 p.m. at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in downtown Montpelier and proceeded in silence down State Street to the high school. Participants carried peace cranes made and donated by a Hiroshima resident whose family experienced the bombing. At 7:15 p.m., the exact time of the dropping of the bomb, the bells of Christ Church chimed 76 times, once for every year since the bombing. Upon arrival at Montpelier High School, a short ceremony took place in which we shared our thoughts on peace and war and sang favorite peace songs, culminating in sending flowers with intentions for peace down the Winooski river. All welcome to participate.
Individual well-being and the health of our planet are inseparable. In the face of global warming and the sixth great extinction of species, BPAV supports restoration of planetary ecosystems, adoption of renewable energy sources, divestment from fossil fuels, and reduced consumption of earth’s resources. We take these actions as an urgent personal and collective responsibility, born of love for our planet and for all living beings.
“Engaged Buddhism is defined and unified by the intention to apply the values and teachings of Buddhism to the problems of society in a nonviolent way, motivated by concern for the welfare of others, and as an expression of one’s own practice of the Buddhist Way.” (Sallie King)
Adopted by Buddhist Peace Action Vermont on October 21, 2020
We are witnessing the rise of fascist governments around the world which are a threat to peace, social justice, and a compassionate way of life. This trend is written about by former Secretary of state Madeline Albright in her 2018 book, titled “Fascism: A Warning.”
Jason Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale University and author of the bestselling 2018 book, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, discusses the fascist tactics used to maintain power. These include “Demonizing immigrants, delegitimizing political opponents, mobilizing paramilitary groups, undermining experts, attacking the press, and lying incessantly until there is no accepted truth are all classic tactics used by fascist leaders throughout history.”
In recent years democracies around the world have become steadily weaker. This has had a great impact on the lives of their citizens. As one example in the U.S. “Over the past 50 years, the highest-earning 20% of U.S. households have steadily brought in a larger share of the country’s total income. In 2018, households in the top fifth of earners (with incomes of $130,001 or more that year) brought in 52% of all U.S. income, more than the lower four-fifths combined, according to Census Bureau data.”
An awareness of the interconnectedness of all life is central to a Buddhist view of the world. This implies holding ourselves and all living beings in great compassion. To quote one of the mostly widely recognized Buddhist teachers Thich Nhat Hanh, “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”
Buddhist Peace Action Vermont, an organization of socially engaged Buddhists, is very concerned that our democracies are veering in a fascist direction. If left unchecked, it will certainly bring increased suffering to many of us, especially our most vulnerable. Let us reach out to Americans of all views and faiths encouraging a fuller participation in civic life. Each of us has a part to play in protecting human rights and dignity.
75 Years ago the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb ever on this Japanese city. We gather to acknowledge its horrific immediate and lasting effects, and to support each other in creating peace in whatever ways we can. The Peace Walk will start from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library lawn at 6:45pm, proceeding silently down State St. to a field at Montpelier High School.
There we will invite your thoughts about war and peace, and make our commitments to building peace as we stand in a circle of lights. We ask that you wear masks and maintain 6′ distancing. Cancelled in case of rain.
For more information, contact Neville Berle (firstname.lastname@example.org, 249-590).
Additional Community Events
Friends, July 16, 2020, is the 75th anniversary of the Trinity test of the atomic bomb. Japanese Peace Cranes to fly on Church St., Burlington VT
Observation of first nuclear explosion in the world: July 16
You are invited to take part in the mounting of a display of small peace cranes, sent from the Japanese peace movement to the American peace movement, in observance of the 75th anniversary of the use of nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945. The event begins at 2:00 PM on July 16 in front of Burlington City Hall.
Two poles will be mounted in the garden in front of City Hall, near the firehouse (BCA). The small cranes will be suspended from a clothesline between them, with an explanatory card, and passerbys will be invited to take one and share it with others. We will be maintaining the display and replenishing the cranes for the three weeks between Trinity day (the name for the bomb that was tested in southern Mexico) July 16 and Nagasaki August 9.
The folding of origami peace cranes has been a ritual during observances of the nuclear bombings for many years. It is based on the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who was diagnosed with leukemia from radiation caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Her friends told her that if she folded 1000 cranes she might be granted a wish. Stories differ as to whether she succeeded in folding 1000 cranes, but she did die, and a memorial was created for her in the Hiroshima Peace Park. We remember her and all victims and survivors, and we join in the statement on the memorial that reads: “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth.”
This event is sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF-US) who was the recipient of the cranes from Japan. In a effort to raise awareness of the events 75 years ago WILPF Disarm created a 1945 Timeline that documents the two major events that happened that year: the dropping of the bombs and the creation of the United Nations. As our timeline says, “Ever since 1945, that most dramatic year at the end of WW2, people, governments and civilization itself have been faced with a momentous dilemma: whether to choose law and cooperation over power and domination. “ Please visit our timeline here: https://wilpfus.org/our-work/disarmend-wars.
We will also be holding a webinar On July 13 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT – Tina Cordova, a founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, and Joni Arends, Director of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, will share their struggles to get compensation and health care for victims of the July 16, 1945, Trinity A-bomb test near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Joni will also discuss the radioactive waste disposal problems faced by New Mexicans.
And finally, there will be a film and discussion series on war and nuclear weapons starting now. It will continue to Nagasaki Day. It is organized by John Reuwer of PSR, Arly Yadin of VTIFF and myself, Robin Lloyd of WILPF-Disarm: https://vtiff.org/events/war-and-nuclear-weapons/.
For more information: Robin Lloyd at 802-355-3256.
Joseph Gainza Producer and Host Gathering PeaceTuesdays 9-10:30 AMWGDR 91.1 FM; WGDH 97.1 FM www.wgdr.org live streaming & archive “At the risk of sounding ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” Che “Love has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others. That is what love looks like.” St. Augustine