Friday, August 30, 2019

“Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Choosing a Future of Peace” commemoration held Friday, August 9, 2019

By Christine Sheller

The annual event in Des Moines remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki was held earlier this month Friday, August 9, the theme being “Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki:  Choosing a Future of Peace.” 
It was held at the Japanese Bell on the Iowa State Capitol grounds as in years past.  The program consisted of tradition and some new elements.

Gathering music was given by Morgan Rivers of Dance of Universal Peace.  Mayor Cownie gave the welcome.  Mary Ann Koch read parts from the 2019 Proclamation given by the Mayor of Hiroshima, himself commemorating the deadly atomic bombing there.  A song was taught and shared, “Peace is Flowing Like a River” by Rivers.  Next was the main speaker of the evening, Maureen McCue with Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility.  A second Dance of Universal Peace was shared and taught by Carmen Lampe-Zeitler & Morgan Rivers.  A great number of attendees participated in a circle dance to the north and west of the main stage.  Attendees danced to and sang “Spirit of Peace.”  “Spirit of Peace, To Your cause we give our strength, That love may reign and war may cease, Mir Miru mir (meaning peace on earth, peace)” were the words. The words were written by Rev. Otto Zinger, and the music is traditional.

Kelsey Noble of Physicians for Social Responsibility read the story of the bell.  Eric Daishin McCabe closed us in prayer and with an explanation of the significance of ringing the Japanese bell.
                                           Morgan Rivers leading music  (Krieg/ AFSC)

           Attendees lined up at the Japanese Bell to strike the bell and lay flowers at the foot of the bell.
                                                                  (Krieg/ AFSC)

  Closing song was “Peace Greeting” led by Morgan Rivers.

Christine Sheller is coordinator and editor at Iowa Peace Network.  She is an M. Div. graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary.

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