Events mark atomic bomb anniversary

Monks from the Nipponzan Myohiji Buddhist Temple on Bainbridge Island will hold their annual peace walk to the 300 Area gate of the Hanford nuclear reservation Wednesday.

It's one of several events planned by different groups as part of the walkup to Aug. 9, the anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, 67 years ago using plutonium produced at Hanford.

The monks will lead an Interfaith Peace Walk that will start with a brief opening ceremony at noon in John Dam Plaza, across from the Federal Building in Richland.

Then, they will walk to the south gate of the Hanford 300 Area at the extension of George Washington Way, accompanied by the beating of drums and chanting. Anyone is welcome to join the walk. A support vehicle will have cold water and pick up those who cannot finish the seven-mile route.

No Nukes Northwest of Portland also plans a walk Wednesday morning down the road toward the Columbia Generating Station north of Richland. Members are concerned about worker safety and the extension of the nuclear power plant's operating license for 20 years.

No Nukes Northwest members also will join the monks' peace walk.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, a one-hour documentary, Fukushima Never Again, will be shown at Shalom United Church of Christ, 505 McMurray St., Richland.

The documentary details the nuclear plant meltdowns in Japan after the March 2011 tsunami. Filmmakers interviewed Japanese residents who bought their own Geiger counters and radiation dosimeters to check for radiation. The film also considers the responsibility of the Japanese government, operator TEPCO and General Electric.

On Aug. 6, World Citizens for Peace plans a free showing at 7 p.m. of the satirical thriller about the Cold War nuclear arms race, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

The 1964 Stanley Kubrick classic stars Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden and Slim Pickens. The showing marks the 30th anniversary of World Citizens for Peace, which was created in Richland as part of the national Nuclear Weapons Freeze campaign.

World Citizens for Peace also plans its annual Atomic Cities Peace Memorial ceremony at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at the John Dam Plaza with songs, comments and prayer to remember the past and give hope for the future.

The highlight of the ceremony will be the ringing of the Bell of Peace, a gift sent by the mayor of Nagasaki to the people of Richland in 1985. It is a model of a church bell recovered from near ground zero in Nagasaki and then rung to console survivors.

The replica will be rung in Richland in memory of the Americans who died at Pearl Harbor and the Japanese who died in Nagasaki.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com