The American Friends Services Committee (AFSC) will be holding a ceremony to remember the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and to spread awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons. The bombings took place 71 years ago on August 6th and 9th, 1945.
The event will start Saturday at 6:30 PM in McConnell Hall at Smith College, opening with members of the Nuclear and Carbon Free Coalition (NCFC). Members of the NCFC will be reading pieces by survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and will be addressing myths around the use of nuclear weapons. They will be followed by AFSC Director and Program Coordinator Jeff Napolitano, who will be speaking on nuclear weaponization programs of the past, present and future.
"There's about a trillion dollars that is slated to be spent within the next 30 years by the US government to 'upgrade' and 'modernize' our nuclear forces...but folks don't really know about it, and folks should know about it because it's --among other things--dangerous," Napalitano explains.
Napalitano will be speaking in lieu of Ann Wright, former US Army colonel and current peace activist, who was scheduled to speak, but came down with a severe case of pneumonia. According to Napalitano, Wright will be sorely missed at the event. On Wright and her more recent work, he commented "Ann is great. We've actually hosted her twice before, she was running around at the RNC and then the DNC."
The event has traditionally closed with a lantern lighting ceremony on Paradise Pond but was canceled this year due to construction at the college.
For those considering attending the event tomorrow, they can expect to receive information and opportunities for engagement. "If people show up they'll be given a lot of options as to what can be done," Napalitano said, referring to both immediate and long-term action, including joining the monks of the Peace Pagoda on a five day walk from Leverett to Boston.
For more information on the ceremony and the walk, visit: