AVON - Members of the Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace will gather tonight for its 45th annual Hiroshima Day Candlelight Vigil in the traffic circle at Routes 5 and 20 in Avon. The vigil is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
The yearly event commemorates the days in August 1945 that the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan and is part of an international call for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Dozens of people from Livingston and nearby counties regularly attend the event, which includes a brief period of silent remembrance, singing of peace songs and lighting of candles. Members hold signs in the park.
The yearly event is intended to be a very powerful, moving public statement of the group’s dedication to peace and nuclear disarmament, GVCP officials have said.
Dr. Arnold Matlin, one of the group’s founders, says the vigil is “a very moving visual event.”
This year is the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
Vigil participants have said they want to encourage people to remain aware of history and also do something to commemorate and remember the lives lost in the bombings.
The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. Japan announced its surrender on Aug. 15, and formally surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945, bringing to an end World War II.
The vigil is planned rain or shine. Those attending a reminded to wear masks.
Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace was founded in 1972 by three Livingston County couples with the general objective of fighting against militarism and war. The organization can be found online at www.gvcp.org and on Facebook.