Commemoration Planned for August 6, 2022
Alton Baker Park (Peace Park Pavilion)
7:00-8:45 p.m. Public Welcome
Eugene, OR — A community gathering to honor victims of atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan 77 years ago is planned for August 6 at the Alton Baker Park Peace Pavilion.
The event opens at 7:00 p.m. with Japanese taiko drumming and concludes at dusk with a ceremony of floating lanterns that are lit to honor those who have died as a result of the bombing. Each lantern is also a symbol of making a personal commitment to advocate for peace in the world. The public is welcome to attend this free event.
On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima that destroyed the city killing 140,000 people. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing 70,000 people, which led to Japan’s surrender and the ending of World War II.
“Although nuclear weapons still exist, many leaders and people around the world are calling for nuclear disarmament,” said Bob Watada, one of the event’s organizers. “We must learn from the past and take action to prevent the horrific actions and effects of nuclear weaponry,” Watada said.
In addition to the scheduled activities below, the evening includes origami (Japanese paper folding) and calligraphy.
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
8:15Taiko procession to Lantern Ceremony
8:25 Lantern Floating Ceremony
In addition to honoring those who perished from the bomb’s devastation, commemorative events are held annually throughout Japan and in many cities across the United States. These events share the common ceremonial practice of lighting lanterns and setting them afloat in streams, rivers, or ponds to honor those who perished and help guide their spirits home. The lanterns also symbolize making a personal commitment to advocate for peace.
Eugene has held an annual Hiroshima Nagasaki commemorative event for several decades.
Past events featured the Hiroshima Peace Tree that arrived as a sapling grown from a seed of a persimmon tree that survived the bombing in Hiroshima. The tree was planted in 2019 at the Alton Baker Nobel Peace Park.
The annual event is produced by the Japanese American Association of Lane County, Community Alliance of Lane County, and the Asian American Council of Oregon.