Lanterns for Peace – Winnipeg

Spread the love

bring-them-home Peace Alliance Winnipeg, the Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizens Association and Project Peacemakers will mark the 64th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a Lanterns for Peace ceremony on Thursday, August 6, 2009 in Winnipeg. Everyone is welcome. Come early and you can help make lanterns and origami peace cranes (materials will be supplied).

Where: Memorial Park, Winnipeg, MB
Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009
beginning at 7:30 with lantern making.

Program (beginning at 8:30):

  • Welcoming: Paul Forget, Project Peacemakers
  • Keynote: Terumi Kuwada, President National Association of Japanese Canadians
  • Reading of the speech given by the Mayor of Hiroshima: Bassam Hozaima, Peace Alliance Winnipeg
  • The Lantern Ceremony: Terumi Kuwada
  • The story of Sadako: Stacey Matsumoto, Vice President Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizens Association


In August, 1945, after 6 months of firebombing attacks on 67 Japanese cities, US President Harry Truman ordered the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9). The death toll was enormous – 140,000 in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945. Many more thousands died over the months and years to come from injuries and illnesses caused by radiation poisoning.

For many years, Winnipeggers have joined the citizens of Hiroshima and from around the world in commemorating these tragedies and in reaffirming our commitment to peace and freedom from nuclear terror. We symbolize our commitment with a Lantern Ceremony.

The Lantern Ceremony is part of an ancient Buddhist Ceremony (O-Bon), that commemorates the lives of loved ones who have passed away. There is a belief that each year (in July), the spirits of your loved ones come back to celebrate their lives with you. At the end of the festival, lighted lanterns are launched on the river in a symbolic gesture to assist the spirits of the deceased to have a safe journey back to the spiritual world.

For many years around the world, this ceremony has been used on Hiroshima Peace Day to remember and embrace the memory of innocent people who perished because of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During these ceremonies, participants are invited to design a lantern that represents their thoughts and feelings regarding personal losses, global concerns of peace, nuclear disarmament and any other issues relevant to keeping our planet safe.

Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes

In addition to lanterns we will be making origami peace cranes to commemorate the story of “Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes.”

Sadako Sasaki, a young girl of 10 years old, became sick with leukemia from the effects of the atomic bomb in post war Japan. She believed in an ancient tale that if you made 1000 paper cranes, you would be granted a wish.  She wished for good health.

She died before she completed making the cranes and her classmates completed the task for her.

Each year, thousands of paper cranes from all over the world adorn the statue of Sadako in the Hiroshima Peace Park in Hiroshima, Japan.

Please help promote this event by downloading and circulating this poster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.