Hiroshima Anniversary Honored, Memorialized Locally

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On the anniversary in which thousands of Japanese civilians died instantly from mankind's greatest weapon, 60 years later dozens of local citizens voiced the vital importance of world peace.

About 40 people came out to the Unitarian Universalist Church in east Rockford. They listened to ministers, poets and musicians reflect on Hiroshima's destruction.

Speakers questioned why decades later nations continue to hold and acquire nuclear bombs. They argued peace proliferation, not nuclear proliferation, is in America's best interests.

While many believe using the nuclear bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the U.S.'s only option to avoid a prolonged fight with Japan, participants nonetheless prayed nuclear weapons will never be used again.

"The 60th anniversary of the last time nuclear weapons were used in anger, should the politicians reflect upon this, should they that we can use this money for peace, for better ways of bringing about peace in the world," organizer Stanley Campbell said.

"Each day is a gift, so these new countries that come along into the group, gotta learn these lessons too of when to stop," Doug Smith said.

The Rockford Peace and Justice Action Committee has held similar Hiroshima remembrance ceremonies each year since the group formed in 1983.