LEWISBURG — With a steady clang of a gong and incense in the air, about 60 people walked a half-mile in silence down Market Street on Thursday in remembrance of the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.
Leading the procession from Soldiers Memorial Park west to Hufnagle Park was Nancy Cleaver, carrying a rainbow-colored mobile of cascading paper cranes. Cleaver was among organizers of Thursday’s event and had led origami crane-making sessions at CommUnity Zone for the vigil and for the “70,000 Cranes for Peace” being mailed to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, considered the home of nuclear weapons.
The service in Lewisburg was among thousands that took place worldwide Thursday on the anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima.
The atomic bombings brought an end to World War II, the United States dropping them to avoid what would have been a bloody ground assault on Japan with estimated American casualties in the tens of thousands and possibly more than a million, according to USA Today.
The atomic bombing following a battle for Japan’s southernmost Okinawa islands, which took 12,520 American lives and estimated 200,000 Japanese lives, about half of them civilians.
The crowd in Lewisburg ended the walk gathered around the Peace Pole on Hufnagle’s western side, circling it for prayer and to leave paper cranes at its base.
“Peace be with you,” the Rev. Kerry Walters, pastor of Holy Spirit American National Catholic Church in Lewisburg, said as he led the participants in reflection and asked for their thoughts.
Edward Shover recalled his father’s military service, while Sara Snyder honored “the breeze on the stone dedicated to all killed in all wars,” a monument that stands at the head of Hufnagle Park.
As they walked down Market Street, “My 8-year-old son said, ‘We’re bringing peace to the earth, aren’t we?’ ” said the Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, pastor of United in Christ Lutheran Church in Lewisburg. “Out of the mouths of babes … and a little child shall lead them,” she said, citing a passage from Isaiah.
Posted by: Evamarie Socha