by Laura Kew
Almost 65 years ago, the first atomic bomb dropped. On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever when the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki put the world on notice that the nuclear age had dawned. From the moment the first pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were published, the people of the world began to organise to demand that these weapons never be used again. Today, the choices between war and peace, health and security, even the survival or demise of humankind on earth, are as stark as ever.Dr. Sylvia Keet, a member of Physicans for Global Survival who encouraged our mayor to become a member of Mayors for Peace, organised the first Powell River Citizens’ Peace Panel, part of the national organization Citizens for Peace. Dr. Keet also organised the first Peace Lantern Ceremony here, a tradition which continues. Now retired to Vancouver Island, she will return as guest speaker at the Annual Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembrance Commemoration and Peace Lantern Ceremony to be held Friday, August 6th, 2010. An ancient tradition, the Lantern Ceremony now commemorates those who died in the world’s first two nuclear attacks, expressing hope that nuclear weapons will never be used again. Each lantern symbolises a personal commitment to create peace in this world and hope for the future. Participants can create a lantern, and send it out on the water at dusk.