SANTA CRUZ — The annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Day of Remembrance/Reflecting on the Past, Changing the Future event was held at the Town Clock in Santa Cruz on Aug. 10. The 90-minute ceremony, which featured speakers, music and prayer, drew about 50 people.
The Rev. Jay Shinseki of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple began with an invocation.
“Today, we look back when atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki where in a flash thousands were turned to white ash,” he said. These events are not unrelated to things that are happening today. We have to make sure that never happens again.”
The U.S. atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killed around 140,000 people. The bomb dropped three days later on Nagasaki killed 70,000 (some say 80,000) before Japan’s surrender ended World War II. Most of those killed were civilians.
The Rev. Jay Shinseki of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple delivers an invocation at the start of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Day of Remembrance. — Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian
Shinseki stressed how the event, which is recognized internationally, is held in memory “for those suffering from the ravages of war.” He also intoned a remembrance of the interlinked communities in history.
“Today we also remember those who have been separated in immigration camps and those separated from their families. May there be no more Hiroshimas, Nagasakis, Sandy Hooks, and Fort Hoods.”
Marion Vittitow spent time refreshing the crowd with facts from the two blasts and the fallout of those events. She underscored the importance of never forgetting those events
“We should be thankful that Santa Cruz established itself as a Nuclear Free Zone in 1991,” she said.
The event was put on by the United Nations Association of Santa Cruz County, Armistice 100 S.C., Veterans for Peace, the ACLU and others.