24th Annual Interfaith Peace Gathering
Saturday, August 5 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.)
St. Bartholomew’s Church – 325 Park Avenue (between 50th and 51st Streets)
The 24th Annual Interfaith Peace Ceremony commemorates the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, a Japanese Buddhist priest, Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, Peace Correspondent of Nagasaki, President of the Buddhist Council of New York, and former Vice President of the Interfaith Center of New York, has organized this Annual Interfaith Peace Gathering since 1994. This commemorative ceremony will include local Buddhist, Shinto, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Native American religious leaders, along with musicians and choirs from Japan and the United States.
Messages from the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be read by representatives of associations of local New York City Japanese residents who originally hail from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hiroshima survivor Tomiko Morimoto West will share her story.
The Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, a well known American Buddhist monk who was born and raised in Brooklyn, will present the keynote address. Ven. Bodhi is known for his translations of many Buddhist scriptures into English and his social engagement on issues such as poverty, climate change, and peace building.
The event will feature Japanese and American musicians including Grammy nominated jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi and flautist Lew Tabackin; Kaoru Watanabe, a Japanese taiko drum player; Sumiko Tajihi, violinist; the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, led by Pastor Frank Haye; Japan Choral Harmony “TOMO,” a New York-based Japanese choir; and the Tenri Gagaku Music Society of New York.
At exactly 7:15 p.m., the exact moment of the Hiroshima bombing (8:15 a.m. August 6 Japan time), a bell for peace will be rung.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb Photo Exhibition will be on display in the sanctuary entrance. The event will be followed by a Silent Peace Walk to Fifth Avenue.
This event is co-sponsored by the Buddhist Council of New York and the Interfaith Center of New York, in partnership with the City of Nagasaki, supported by the Origami Therapy Association, and hosted by St. Bartholomew’s Church and Episcopal Peace Fellowship.