I wrote about the Interfaith Journey of Repentance in a previous post. Members of this delegation traveled to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the 64th anniversaries of the atomic bombings to listen to the stories of the Hibakusha and engage in the global movement to abolish all nuclear weapons. If you haven't yet read about their journey, I highly recommend their blog (click here or see the link below). There is also another link with photos of Father Louis Vitale, who was one of the participants, at Pace e Bene.Hiroshima's mayor, Tadatoshi Akiba, presented the city's annual Peace Declaration on August 6th, a document that expresses the "Spirit of Hiroshima", that spirit being characterized by forgiveness, the struggle for peace, and the determination that no other city shall ever suffer the fates of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States, being the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons on another, has a unique responsibility to set the example for other nations to move towards a world without nuclear weapons.
As the survivors of the atomic bombings grow older, we are gradually losing the living memories of these tragedies; and collective memory is so important if we are to keep the torch of nuclear abolition alive. It is through the dedication of people such as those engaged in the Journey of Repentance that we will help keep the memories alive and spread the word of peace and reconciliation so necessary in a world awash in violence. The struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons will only be won through the principles of nonviolence.
Repentance is much more than a simple apology. The Journey of Repentance is a model for the commitment to working (in a deep, sincere way) for nuclear abolition. I hope that reading their blog will give you a sense of their deep commitment, and demonstrate the hope that exists through the actions of people like these. May we all journey along with them in our own repentance for the sins of the past, while we work to ensure that we will never again commit such egregious sins as were committed on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki - Never Again!
Click here to read the Journey of Repentance Blog.