Friday, July 23, 2021

Observance of Hiroshima Nagasaki bombings being held August 6 and 8


By Christine Sheller, Coordinator IPN

Peace organizations are planning a 2021 observance for the anniversary of the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, 76 years ago.  As described below, Des Moines has held an observance of this for four decades.  Thanks to Jeffrey Weiss for writing the press release below.

Iowa Peace Network is among the groups planning the event, and is a cosponsor.  I have been blessed to be a part of the planning over the years, once in 2011 then again in 2015 through the present.  The events look different every year, but there are traditions that have been part of the event every year such as the laying down of flowers on the bell, and ringing the Japanese bell.  Read below in the press advisory more about what the event will include.


July 16, 2021

Press Advisory

Des Moines to commemorate Hiroshima – Nagasaki Observance

The gathering marks four decades of assembling at the Japanese Bell

DES MOINES -- The public is invited to join peace organizations at the historic Japanese Bell on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol to commemorate the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.    The event has been running for four decades.  Last year for the first time it was a 'virtual' gathering via ZOOM during the outbreak of COVID - 19.

This year the theme is "Moving Beyond Suffering to Hope- No More Nukes."   The event will be held Friday, Aug. 6 at 7:00 PM  at the Japanese Bell.( West of the Iowa Judicial Branch Bldg, 1111 E. Court Ave. DM).     The remembrance and memorial service will include speakers, poetry, music, and the traditional ringing of the bell and placement of flowers.

"As we say never again to the use of nuclear weapons and reflect on the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we also reassess what we all need to be doing to create a world without nuclear weapons, and work for peace" said Mary Ann Koch of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.  

"While we need to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran,” said Jeffrey J. Weiss, "Consider that Israel, Pakistan, and India have nuclear weapons.  Iran does not have them at all.   We are past time for a nuclear weapons free Middle East, something Arab countries have called for decades." 

Those who attend are encouraged to bring a flower and chair.

The rain location is Wesley United Methodist Church,  800  E. 12 DM

Also on Sunday August 8th from 1:30-3:00 p.m., another event will involve a handful of representatives from peace and social organizations discussing the state of nuclear weapons and relations with Iran and the nuclear deal.       The Sunday, August 8th event will be from 1:30-3:00 pm at the First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Ave. DM. Zoom presentations to be followed by local responses

Global Zero will share their campaign to secure international commitments to a No First Strike policy.

The National Iranian American Council will present an update on the status of the reinstatement efforts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. The presentation will include information about the impact of sanctions on the Iranian people.

Groups that are involved in this year's commemoration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki include the Middle East Peace Committee,  Catholic Peace Ministry, Iowa Peace Network, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility, STAR PAC, and National Iranian American Council-Iowa Chapter.

For more information contact Kathleen McQuillen at 515 710 9902 or

No comments:

Post a Comment