Syracuse Peace Council Hosts Procession to Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings Syracuse Peace Council Hosts Procession to Remember Atomic Bombings

Anthony Leon: The Nuclear Free World Committee is currently working on a nuclear weapons abolition campaign. Member Chloe Erwin says this procession will help the board get additional support towards fulfilling this initiative.

Chloe Erwin: Through today’s procession, people will see a group of people holding banners and wondering who those weird people are, and we’ll them who those weird people are.

Leon: With Russia making nuclear threats towards Ukraine and movies such as “Oppenheimer” releasing in July, concerns about nuclear weapons are intensifying. Committee Member Diane Swords says both news and entertainment about nuclear weapons is raising more awareness about the issue.

Diane Swords: I do think that the movie has raised awareness incredibly. It’s been in the news more, some younger people have been thinking about it.

Leon: The procession will start at Erie Boulevard and Westcott Street on Wednesday night at 5 p.m.

Anthony Leon, NCC News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)The Nuclear Free World Committee of the Syracuse Peace Council hosts a procession to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Through this march, the committee wants to petition the White House and representatives from Congress to support the Back from the Brink campaign. This initiative is designed to change the U.S. nuclear weapons policy while abolishing nuclear arsenals around the world.

Although the council holds this parade every year, Committee Member Diane Swords believes the public should start thinking about nuclear weapons more often. With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and the release of the movie “Oppenheimer,” Swords hopes people are more concerned about nuclear weapons.

“Our message this year is as much about presenting to the public what can be done as it is about raising awareness,” Swords said.

Some of the biggest challenges when it comes to nuclear disarmament include nuclear-weapon states. For example, when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into effect in 2021, none of these countries signed on. However, Swords thinks the treaty is still effective even without the support of nuclear nations.

“Countries that have ratified the treaty won’t house industries that make nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapons,” Swords said. “There are a number of banks, especially internationally that won’t fund these kinds of weapons.” 

According to Council Member Chloe Erwin, some members of the committee were wary about hosting a procession this year, as they questioned its overall effectiveness. However, Erwin believes any level of awareness is good.

“Just having a place for conversation,” Erwin said. “I think the importance of that cannot be underrated.”

The older demographic tends to think about nuclear weapons more often due to the Cold War. Nowadays, Erwin wants more young people like herself involved in issues like nuclear weapons so the nuclear free message can spread to the next generation. 

“I hope it [the procession] does speak to the younger demographic,” Erwin said. “We hope to raise awareness and let people know that the Central New York community cares about nuclear weapons and we will not stand for them.”

This year’s remembrance includes a speaker who survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The procession starts Wednesday at 5 p.m. on the Erie Boulevard and Westcott Street intersection. People can visit the Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice for more information.

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