A Time To Remember And Heal

The annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration is August 6 at Alton Baker Park

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 ended World War II and reframed everything about future wars. Almost 80 years later, governments are still dealing with the fallout of having stockpiles of such weapons, a single one of which can wipe out vast quantities of life. A blockbuster movie this summer, Oppenheimer, chronicles the building of the bombs — Little Boy and Fat Man — that destroyed the Japanese cities, but the Asian American Council of Oregon offers a counterpoint, an atomic bomb’s devastating aftermath, in its annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration August 6 at Alton Baker Park. “I cannot think of anything more horrific,” says Bob Watada, an 83-year-old Eugene resident of Japanese descent who grew up in Colorado and had relatives in U.S. internment camps in the 1940s. He has also protested various wars and armed conflicts through the years. “Why people would do this to each other — I’m baffled. It’s not worth it. We need to look at diplomacy.” The commemoration begins with Taiko drumming from Eugene Taiko. There will be a prayer to ancestors from Reverend Mark Unno, messages from dignitaries, singing from the Yujin Gakuen Children’s Peace Choir as well as an Obon dance by Susie Yamamoto. The event ends with a procession to the Lantern Ceremony (led by Eugene Taiko) and the ceremony itself.  

The Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration, presented by the Asian American Council of Oregon, is 7 pm to 8:45 pm Sunday, August 6, at Alton Baker Park, Peace Pavilion. FREE.

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