Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Press Release July 10, 2006

Nagasaki Day will be observed at Southfield’s Hope United Methodist Church, August 9th in a Remembrance ceremony open to the public. Last year, the observance was held at Unity of Livonia with nearly 200 people attending.

Imagine, if you will, that an atomic bomb the size of the one that destroyed Nagasaki, exploded above the Livonia Courthouse. It happened before, not once, but twice. Hiroshima was devastated by a nuclear weapon August 6, 1945. Nagasaki, was destroyed three days later. The toll: an estimated 200,000 dead—mostly civilians. You’ve seen pictures of the devastation caused by those two nuclear weapons. Let your imagination continue and visualize the damage to Livonia. The postal workers at ground zero. Gone. The office workers in the beautiful city hall building, burned, maimed and dying. City hall would be reduced to rubble. The library, a pile of charred books. If schools were in session, hundreds if not thousands of children would be killed or injured. Picture the blinding flash of light as hundreds of homes, buildings, and automobiles are demolished or ignited in flames. Pets, lost in the debris.

One would hope and pray that that would never happen…to Livonia or any other place on this planet. For one thing, the devastation would be far greater, the death toll far higher. Today’s nuclear weaponry is 40 times more powerful than those that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And many delivery systems are armed with multiple nuclear warheads pre-set to strike numerous targets simultaneously. And most chilling of all, there are thousands of such devices-- 12,000 in the U.S. alone.

For this reason the dates of the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been observed every year for the past sixty years throughout the world. At Hope United Methodist Church, the observance begins at 7:00 and includes remarks on the current state of nuclear weaponry by Dr. Prasad Venagopal, associate professor of physics atUof D Mercy. A 15 minute version of the film “Full Circle” which documents the journey of Buddhist Monks who kept alive the flame from the ashes of Hiroshima for 60 years will be offered. Film maker Matt Taylor follows the monks as they walk 1600 miles from San Francisco to the New Mexico site where the bomb was constructed, with the live flame. The flame is extinguished in a moving ceremony.

The observance includes a performance by the “Cross Bearers of Hope” dancers, a song,“No More Hiroshima” by Motoko Huthwaite, photos of the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and then closes with a candlelight vigil. Following the observance there will be refreshments, and informational materials. Members of the Citizens for Peace,11th District, along with the Detroit Area Peace and Justice Network, co-sponsors of the event, will be available to answer questions. Hope United Methodist Church is located on the south side of the Northwestern Highway service drive, just east of Lasher, and can also be reached by taking Civic Center Drive.

For more information, call Colleen Mills at 734-425-0079.

George T. Mills 29742 Buckingham Livonia, MI 48154