Peace vigil offers prayers for Hiroshima, Nagasaki

August 6, 2009 by

Sister Regina Ann Brummel stands next to the Peace Pole near the main entrance of the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Concordia as she leads the prayer vigil Thursday afternoon. The ceremony marked the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

Sister Regina Ann Brummel stands next to the Peace Pole near the main entrance of the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Concordia as she leads the prayer vigil Thursday afternoon. The ceremony marked the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

Many in the circle around the Sisters of St. Joseph Peace Pole Thursday afternoon were too young to remember Aug. 6, 1945. But others who gathered for the short prayer vigil at the Sisters’ Motherhouse in Concordia remember vividly the day the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, U.S. planes dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Those are the only two instances in which nuclear weapons have been used in wartime.

Father Jack Schlaf, left, and Sister Janet Lander share their thoughts during a reflection time that was part of Thursdays prayer vigil.

Father Jack Schlaf, left, and Sister Janet Lander share their thoughts during a reflection time that was part of Thursday's prayer vigil.

As part of Thursday’s remembrance ceremony, some of the older participants shared with those younger what they felt when they first learned about the attack that ultimately left some 225,000 dead. About half of that number died in the bombings themselves; the rest died by the end of 1945 from injuries or the combined effects of flash burns, trauma, and radiation burns, compounded by illness, malnutrition and radiation sickness. In both cities, the majority of the dead were civilians.

Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on Aug. 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on Sept. 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore World War II.

In Thursday’s vigil, Sister Regina Ann Brummel asked those attending to pray for the victims of the two nuclear bombs, and for an end to continued worldwide nuclear proliferation.

Salina musicians and peace activists Janie Stein and Marty Bates performed as a part of the ceremony. Also in attendance were sisters from the Justice and Peace Center in Salina, which is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

Salina musicians and peace activists Janie Stein, left, and Marty Bates perform during Thursdays prayer vigil at the Motherhouse in Concordia.

Salina musicians and peace activists Janie Stein, left, and Marty Bates perform during Thursday's prayer vigil at the Motherhouse in Concordia.

Comments

4 Responses to “Peace vigil offers prayers for Hiroshima, Nagasaki”

  1. Gerald Gillespie on August 29th, 2009 7:35 pm

    Friends,
    Mineko and I could not make the vigil but we knew of this and were with you all in spirit. So good to see the photos and to sense what we missed in physical presence.
    Peace to each of you and to all,
    Gerald Gillespie

  2. Jean Befort,csj on August 10th, 2009 9:41 am

    Thanks, Regina Ann for getting the Prayer Vigil planned, and Sarah, you once again, captured the moment so well with your story and the pictures!

  3. Carm Thibault on August 9th, 2009 7:46 pm

    Thanks for this piece……….

    Knowing our community and others gathered around the peace pole on the 6th for prayer and remembering is so good.
    We all pray that one day we will have a planet without nuclear weapons/ war and so much violence.

  4. Loretta Jasper, CSJ on August 8th, 2009 6:29 am

    Thank you for the formal and public remembrance of Hiroshima.
    The history provided in this article is SO important for persons too young to know the story. The sharing of those who remember with those who were not yet born is also so very crucial.
    Loretta Jasper,csj

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