By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- On Saturday, residents from across the Valley will observe the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.
It will be the 10th consecutive year the Center for Nonviolent Living will mark the anniversary.
The purpose of the Hiroshima Day observance is to encourage remembrance of the tens of thousands who died from two atomic blasts in 1945 and to spur action to decrease the world's stockpile of nuclear weapons. Another reason for the observance is to reaffirm a commitment to nonviolence and a nuclear-free world.
Joe Manzi, a member of the group, said a silent peace walk will leave Soldiers Memorial Park, North Water and Market streets, at 6:40 p.m. and go to Hufnagle Park, South Sixth and Market streets, for a ceremony at 7.
The walk will be led by the Rev. Ann Keeler Evans, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Susquehanna Valley.
Other participants will include the Rev. Amelia Shivers, pastor of St. John's United Church of Christ, McEwensville; the Rev. Paula Gustafson, senior pastor of St. John's United Church of Christ, Lewisburg; the Rev. Susan Jamison, director of the annual fund and community relations for Albright Care Services; and the Rev. Robert L. Pyle, pastor of Salem Brethren Church, Middleburg.
Anyone interested in joining the procession is welcome, Manzi said. "We will have peace signs and posters, but marchers can bring their own if they wish," he said.
The guest speaker will be Andrew Portocarrero, executive vice president of the World Security Institute. He will talk about the new international effort called "Global Zero."
The International Global Zero Movement, launched in December 2008, includes more than 300 political, military, business, faith and civic leaders and citizens working for the phased, verified elimination of nuclear weapons.
Statements by Hiroshima survivors will be read by Joey Deer, Dan Affsprung, Selna Weston, Sarah Henschell and Ben Stieler.
If it rains Saturday, the group will gather in First Baptist Church, 51 S. Third St.
Manzi said that although most of the group's efforts have concentrated on the elimination of nuclear weapons, this fall it might plan a memorial event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.