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Peace and anti-nuclear activists will honor victims of atomic weapons and radiation this weekend in Eugene's Alton Baker Park

U.S. Dept. of Energy
The Peace Dome as seen in 2014, in Hiroshima, Japan. This structure is preserved as it was found in 1945, as a reminder of what an atomic bomb can do.

This Saturday in Eugene, peace activists will mark the 77th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan.

The Second World War ended shortly after the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed by the United States. The resulting devastation and suffering sparked a movement against nuclear weapons.

“We still deal with it, generations later,” said Aimee Yogi, of the Japanese American Association of Lane County, an organizer of the annual event. She witnessed the power of nuclear weapons in Hawaii, roughly 60 years ago when an above-ground nuclear test was held hundreds of miles away.

Melorie Begay
At the end of the evening, Japanese paper lanterns are released into the duck pond. This is from the 2019 event.

“And we saw the light of a nuclear bomb, and it just got really silent,” recalled Yogi. “We didn’t cheer or anything. And what it said to me was, ‘We can destroy the world.’”

Besides the victims of the bombings in mainland Japan, Yogi says the event is for those sickened or affected by nuclear radiation through the decades.

The commemoration is also organized by the Asian American Council of Oregon and the Community Alliance of Lane County.

The commemoration program schedule is:

7:00 Taiko Drumming - Opening Ceremony

7:15 Master of Ceremonies Kitty Piercy former Eugene Mayor

7:25 Prayer to Ancestors Reverend Mark Unno

7:30 Message from Hiroshima Mayor by Mike Takahashi

7:40 Acknowledgement of Hiroshima-Nagasaki event Sponsors

  • Asian American Council of Oregon
  • Japanese American Association of Lane County
  • Community Alliance of Lane County

7:45 Call to Action Michael Carrigan

7:50 Obon Dance

8:15 Taiko procession to Lantern Ceremony

8:25 Lantern Floating Ceremony

For more information, visit www.AsianCouncil.org.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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