Originally published on August 8, 2007

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The 21st annual “Lanterns of Remembrance, Lanterns of Hope” was held at Lake Lauderdale on the evening of August 2. Scheduled close to the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only wartime use of atomic weapons, this solemn event honored victims of armed conflicts throughout the world.

Over 100 peace activists from the region met in the picnic pavilion at the park to assemble floating lanterns, share a potluck dinner, and listen to a series of readings on non-violence. Interspersed throughout the program was music from Lynne and Richie Bittner, Ferrilyn Sourdiffe, Stephen Alcorn and Shantia Mayer. Particularly striking was an original arrangement of “America The Beautiful” by Ms. Sourdiffe and Mr. Alcorn.

As darkness began to fall, the “peacemakers” slowly walked to the lake’s edge, following flutist Bliss McIntosh and four members of the Mettawee Players who carried large winged puppets. After lighting the paper-enclosed lanterns, participants gently placed them on the surface of Lake Lauderdale. Those present silently watched the lanterns drift out to the center of the lake. Many stood arm-in-arm, remembering loved ones now gone. The only sounds were the occasional squeals of young children, giving voice to those children all over the world whose lives have been lost or shattered due to war.

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Constructing a Lantern

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Mettawee Players

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