(Black Press Media file photo)

Atomic bomb remembrance lantern ceremony in Esquimalt Friday

Remembrance ceremony for Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks Aug. 9 in Kinsmen Gorge Park

The annual remembrance ceremony for those who lost their lives as a result of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks will be held on Aug. 9 at the Kinsmen Gorge Park in Esquimalt.

From 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., free materials will be provided for attendees to construct floating lanterns with messages of peace.

Starting at 7:15 p.m., the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will have their own messages read along with remarks from the acting mayor of Esquimalt, Jacob Helliwel, and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes.

There will also be performances by the award-winning Japanese folk dance group Furusato Dancers and songs of peace by the Gettin’ Higher Choir.

At sunset the lanterns will be floated on the Gorge.

READ MORE: Oak Bay commemorates Hiroshima, Nagasaki with tree planting

Physicians for Global Survival (PGS) is collaborating with the World Beyond War organization to hold the event.

“The anniversary events focus on peace and remembrance of the 200,000 who died and the many thousands who suffered and succumbed, or continue to endure resulting radiation poisoning, cancers and birth defects,” said a release from PGS.

“Because the risk of nuclear war continues to exist, the United Nations opened the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons for nations to sign. Cities and towns worldwide are calling on their federal governments to sign the treaty.”

READ MORE: Sooke council backs nuclear weapons ban

This year marks the 74th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 8).

The bombings contributed to the end of the Second World War, but devastated the cities, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict to date.

Clarification: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be in attendance at this event. The program will include messages read on behalf of these mayors. We apologize for the confusion.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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