Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration planned for Saturday

LIVERMORE — Hundreds are expected to gather Saturday outside Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to support nuclear disarmament and mark the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.

Organizers said the protest has been put together by 17 groups, and will feature a "Nuclear Maze" exhibit depicting the detrimental effects that nuclear weapons production and testing have on the environment.

"This is an educational display to help people understand the dangers of nuclear weapons," said Jackie Cabasso, executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland.

Don Johnston, a spokesman for the Livermore Lab, said the lab does not take a stance on the demonstration.

Saturday's event will feature a keynote address by the Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, a survivor of the bombing of Nagasaki. He was seven months old at the time. His family members suffered the effects of radiation and fallout in the years after the attack.

Marylia Kelley, of Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment, a lab watchdog group, said she expects several hundred participants to turn out for the event, which has taken place each year for the past two decades.

The ceremony commemorating the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki will begin at 11:02 a.m. with a moment of silence marking the moment when the bomb was dropped Aug. 9, 1945, over Nagasaki during World War II.

Wednesday was the anniversary of the Advertisementbombing of Hiroshima.

Before the event, visitors are invited to participate in a discussion with Iranian-Americans regarding the current tension between the United States and Iran.

"We're not just looking back and remembering," Cabasso said, "We're looking forward to a nuclear-free future."

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