« Sentinels of Peace » in Tromso (Norway)

Jean-Jacques and Marie-France Siry, both members of our association, were in Tromso in November on a private trip. They were able to appreciate the beauty of this community, which has been a member of Mayors for Peace since April 2004.

During their stay, they did not have the opportunity to meet with the town’s elected officials to whom they could have presented our association’s project, as they had done during their visit to the town of Ishigaki in Japan. This is perhaps only a postponement, as a trip in the spring to discover Norway at another time of the year is on the agenda.

But they nevertheless wished to salute, in the manner of our association, the commitment of the city of Tromso in the fight for Peace by erecting a Sentinel of Peace on the summit overlooking the city of Tromso (the panoramic point of Fjellstua).

To be continued …

 

Tribute to Paul Quilès

On 29 September, at the initiative of Catherine Manuel, the inhabitants of Cordes sur Ciel gathered in front of the monument to Peace, Place de la Bride in Cordes, to pay tribute to Paul Quilès, mayor of this commune in the Tarn region from 1995 to 2020, but also a tireless campaigner for the abolition of nuclear weapons within the IDN Association.

We wanted to take part in this small ceremony because we have never forgotten our meeting with Mr Paul Quilès at the very beginning of our association’s project in memory of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was on the occasion of the screening of the film « La bombe et nous » in Albi.

During the debate that followed, we were able to discover a man of conviction, of great sincerity and of a very strong commitment to the fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We have not met him since, but we regularly follow his blog and all the articles he has written on this fight. We will not forget either that it was he who allowed us to meet Michel Cibot of the AFCDRP with whom we worked on the project of our association.
Through his books and writings, Mr Paul Quilès will remain in our memories and it is up to all of us, with our means, to ensure that his struggle continues.

 

The « Tree of Life » in Nagasaki

Donation to Nagasaki Peace Park – 18 April 2016: Exactly five years ago today, the Yalata Anangu Aboriginal community in South Australia donated a sculpture entitled « The Tree of Life » to be installed in Nagasaki City Peace Park in recognition of the atomic test survivor communities around the world.

This donation is a contribution by members of an Australian community affected by the British atomic tests in Australia. 

Through this gesture, members of the Yalata Annagu Aboriginal community wanted to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings (Hibakusha) but also to raise awareness of the history of Australia’s nuclear test survivor communities and the forward-looking initiatives they have undertaken to engage, in particular, the younger generation in discourse and action for peace. It is a call for hope and peace between generations and across borders.

A more detailed article can be found at this link

This article is there to remind us that beyond the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must not forget the consequences on the civilian (but also military) populations of the numerous nuclear tests since 1945. We invite you to watch the video created by the Japanese artist Iso Hashimoto which presents a time lapse of the « 2053 » nuclear tests from 1945 to 1998.

Entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

22 January 2021 marks the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW): A new historic step towards the abolition of nuclear weapons. Today, 76 years after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 51 countries (with the exception of France and the other nuclear powers and their allies) have signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Sentinels of Peace Association supports this treaty and calls for a collective mobilisation in favour of the TPNW. 

The Sentinels of Peace at the Cordes Sur Ciel Peace Days

On 9 August, Jean-Jacques and Marie-France, members of the association’s board, took part in the last action day for peace organised in Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn from 6 to 9 August 2020.

These dates are of course not a coincidence since they correspond to the anniversaries of the bombings of the cities of Hiroshima (06/08) and Nagasaki (09/08) 75 years ago.

First of all, we attended the « readings for peace ». The following texts were read, among others: Sufi poems: Rumi, Attav and Ibn Arabi; Relation: Meeting the Other in oneself and the Self in the Other…; An original text from the Indian chief Seattle to the President of the United States (1854) in « Sower of Hope » by Pierre RABHI; ERASMUS « Complaint for Peace everywhere so much decried » 1517.

On this occasion, Jean-Jacques, secretary of our association, read the poem “We Shall Bring Forth New Life (Umashimenkana)”  by Sadako Kurihara written in 1946 after the bombing of Hiroshima and translated by Miho Cibot-Shimma.

These readings were followed by an artistic performance danced by Salud Lopez and Fabienne Larroque.

In the room were also presented works by Françoise Segonds, a visual artist.

Then we took part in a silent march for Peace.

A very interesting phenomenon was the curiosity of the tourists from Cordes-sur-Ciel who came to ask us what we were doing, which allowed us to recall this dramatic historical event of 6 and 9 August 1945 and to pass on a message calling for peace.

And at the end of the day, we left after a very convivial dance finale.

On the occasion of this day we were able to exchange with Mrs Catherine Manuel of the municipal team of Cordes and we have already made a date for next year’s edition for which our association is ready to participate in the preparation. To be continued … 

 

Visit of a schoolteacher from the Paris region in Lasséran and Moissac

On Tuesday 28th July, Valérie S., a teacher in Seine-et-Marne, met Mr Soriano, Mayor of Lasseran and the headmistress of the village school in order to discuss the possibility of a project on the theme of peace that she would like to set up in her school. Accompanied by her children, Justine and Erwan, we all together visited the achievements of the commune of Lasseran and in particular the Garden of Peace with its Sentinels area.

She was also able to discuss at length with the school director about the projects to be set up with the children. On this occasion, the children of Valérie S. were able to pick back up fallen sentinels of peace in the garden.

At the end of the day, we went to Moissac where she was able to discover the other garden of sentinels of peace. On this occasion, stones could be lifted again. We will of course follow and if necessary accompany Valérie in her project. To be continued …

The Moissac peace garden on the AFCDRP website

On Thursday 24th October, the space dedicated to the Sentinels of Peace was inaugurated in the Firmin Bouisset garden in the presence of the Mayor, numerous elected representatives, students and parents as well as the 2MAC association.

All the article (in French) accessible through this link

The benevolent people of the Garden of Peace in Moissac

Who then can be the benevolent people of the garden of peace?

It has now been several weeks since we organised the inauguration of the Peace Garden in Moissac, and an astonishing thing happens repeatedly: one or more people pick up the stones that have fallen to the ground, and continuously put the garden back on its feet. A beautiful gesture of peace which touches us particularly, a lesson in citizenship, but above all a beautiful moral. Let them not hesitate to express themselves, because they deserve a big thank you!

Sentinels of Peace in Ishigaki (Japan)

In November 2019, on the occasion of a trip to the island of Ishigaki in Okinawa prefecture, Jean-Jacques and Marie-France SIRY, members of the board of the association « Sentinelles de la Paix » were able to meet Mr. Yasuyuki Hazama, director of the Division of Civic Cooperation for Peace, accompanied by two staff members.

In November 2019, on the occasion of a trip to the island of Ishigaki in Okinawa prefecture, Jean-Jacques and Marie-France SIRY, members of the board of the association « Sentinelles de la Paix » were able to meet Mr. Yasuyuki Hazama, director of the Division of Civic Cooperation for Peace, accompanied by two staff members. Ishigaki City is a member of Mayors For Peace and is home to one of the five World Peace Bells in Japan.

We were welcomed in the conference room of Ishigaki City Hall and Mr. Hazama introduced us to Ishigaki City, City of Peace and to this very important point of the city of Ishigaki and which was one of the motivations of our visit, the World Peace Bell. A Peace Bell, melted down in the hope of permanent peace in the whole world, was given to Ishigaki City in 1988. It is placed in the centre of the city in Shinei Park. A second bell, the Smile Bell, made thanks to the generosity of the people of Ishigaki, was installed the same year.  To accompany his presentation, Mr. Hazama gave us a set of documents presenting the commitment of the city of Ishigaki to peace.

Then we presented our association and our involvement through various actions in connection with the municipalities that are members of Mayors for peace, for a world free of nuclear weapons. We spoke in particular about our two recent actions in Moissac and Lasséran. We presented and handed a text to Mr. Hazama on our approach and the different symbols present in this approach, in particular those insisting on the necessary transmission of the message of the Hibakusha.

Afterwards, Mr. Hazama invited us to go to Shinei Park where he presented us with the World Peace Bell and the Smile Bell. We were also able to discover the two monumental stones on which are engraved the two Ishigaki Peace City Declaration.

Then, to our great surprise, the suspended wooden beam (Shu-moku – 手木) was installed to ring the Peace Bell and Mr Hazama invited us both to ring it. It was an extremely moving moment and we are both very honoured to have been able to make this gesture.

Then, after a last photo, Mr Hazama took us back to the town hall and we agreed to keep in touch. We took the liberty of proposing, on behalf of our association, to envisage the realisation of a Peace Sentinels action on the Shinei Park at a date to be defined. Finally, we invite you to discover the very beautiful text of Mr. Yoshitaka Nakayama, Mayor of the city of Ishigaki, written on December 10, 2018 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the installation of the Ishigaki World Peace Bell.