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Anti-Nuke Group Gathers To Remember Hiroshima

on August 3, 2014 - 9:02am

Father John Dear of Santa Fe Pax Christi speaks to the group of about 40 people gathered at Ashley Pond Saturday to remember Hiroshima. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/


Los Alamos Daily Post

Father John Dear and members of Pax Christi spent 30 minutes sitting in silence Saturday on the grass at Ashley Pond Park in remembrance of the Aug. 6 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 69 years ago.

“We gathered to remember Hiroshima and to repent for the sins of nuclear weapons and beg the God of peace for the gift of nuclear nonproliferation,” Dear told the Los Alamos Daily Post following the event.

Dear said of the 40 some people attending Sunday’s event, six or seven were from Phoenix and 10 or 12 from Taos.

Fearing a rainstorm, the group abandoned their usual sack cloth and ash ceremony walking along Trinity to Diamond Drive where they sat in prayer on the sidewalk for half an hour.

Following their vigil Sunday at the pond, the crowd moved under the roofed shelter area near Trinity Drive to take turns reading lines from a piece written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and David Krieger. “We Must End the Madness of Nuclear Weapons” was published in April in

The piece addressed how five decades ago world leaders came together on a mission to avert the devastation that would occur in the event of a nuclear war. The five existing states with nuclear weapons: U.S., Soviet Union, UK, France and China signed the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and agreed to negotiate to end the nuclear arms race.

The piece went on the say that five decades later, the world has an additional four states with nuclear weapons including India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea.  

Sunday marked 11 years in which Dear has attended Hiroshima remembrance events. He revealed big plans underway for next year’s 70th anniversary.

“We’re calling on everyone in the country who has been a part of this to come here Thursday, Aug. 6 for a preconference meeting,” Dear said. “On Friday Aug. 7 we’ll be in Santa Fe for the conference and then on Sunday Aug. 9, we’ll rent buses to bring people to gather here at the pond … Joan Baez has been invited … we hope for 500 people here next year.”   

Dear called for 50 volunteers to help with various duties during next year’s event. He also said they are hoping to gather 100 people together next month at the plaza in Santa Fe for a non-violent event. There also will be more than 100 similar nonviolent actions Sept. 21-27 across the U.S. as well, he said.

Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. He is a longtime activist who has been arrested more than 75 times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience for peace.

Dear has organized hundreds of demonstrations against war and nuclear weapons at military bases across the country, as well as worked with Mother Teresa and others to stop the death penalty.

He is a lecturer and author of 30 books and hundreds of articles, including “Living Peace,” “Jesus the Rebel” and “The Nonviolent Life.” He was nominated in 2008 for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Tutu.

He was the pastor of several churches in New Mexico but a few years ago he left the Jesuits.

“I’m still a priest and although I’ll remain in New Mexico, I will be joining the Diocese of Monterey, Calif.,” Dear said. “I travel the world and a lot of people support me – just not in New Mexico.”

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/