Nearly 76 years have passed since the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.
Sadako Peace Day was created to honor the victims, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has commemorated the occasion for the past 26 years (including a virtual event in 2020).
NAPF, a denuclearizing advocacy group, is holding its 27th annual Sadako Peace Day at 6 p.m. Friday on the Magnolia Lawn at Westmont College, 955 La Paz Road in Santa Barbara.
The one-hour event begins with Bob Nyosui Sedivy playing the ancient Shakuhachi flute.
Keeping a calm atmosphere, performers will stand without introduction (though they may introduce themselves) and present a poem or a song.
The event always features a Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emeritus and singer-songwriters who perform peaceful works. Then, they conclude with more Shakuhachi flute tunes.
“It not only honors the innocent victims of Hiroshima and nagasaki but innocent victims everywhere,” Sandy Jones, NAPF director of communications, told the News-Press.
The day is a tribute to Sadako Sasaki, who was a two-year-old Hiroshima resident at the time of the bombing. She died from leukemia 10 years later, one of many bomb survivors who later fell ill to cancer.
Inspired by a Japanese legend, she folded 1,000 paper cranes while in the hospital.
An advocate for world peace, she is often quoted writing “I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world,” on the cranes.
Ms. Jones believes Sadako’s philosophies are just what the community needs today.
“With so many having lost so much in this past year, there’s a joint feeling: There’s a sense of shared loss. With that comes a sense of shared hope for better times, that we can all share in that feeling together,” she said.
NAPF will have chairs set up outdoors at arms length from one another and provide masks for those who need one.
To learn more, go to wagingpeace.org/the-27th-annual-sadako-peace-day-2021.