The DC Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Committee (DC HNPC) was started in 1981 as a joint project of several local groups and individuals to commemorate the atomic bombing of Japan by the United States on August 6 (Hiroshima) and August 9 (Nagasaki), 1945. We remember the victims and honor the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation, work against nuclear weapons the world over, and educate the community about the double-edged sword of nuclear power.
Originally organized as part of the Gray Panthers of Metropolitan Washington, founding members of the committee include Louise Franklin-Ramirez and John Steinbach, Josephine Butler, Hilda Mason, Arjun Makhijani, Rick and Michelle Tingling-Clemmons, Rev. Phil and Sue Wheaton, Ellen and William Thomas, Joe and Rose Marie Flynn, and many others dedicated to insuring that the nuclear holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are never forgotten or repeated.
Each year from August 3-10, the DC HNPC organizes a week of commemorative activities in and around the Washington area to increase public awareness about the history of the atomic bombings and their consequences. We welcome a delegation of Hibakusha (Japanese survivors of atomic radiation) to participate in these events, and we send a delegation of local DC-area activists (one youth and one adult) to Japan to represent us and participate in the major events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which there are national events approaching holiday status.
Events here in the area typically include:
- a community reception to welcome and honor our visiting Hibakusha friends
- a public program and peace demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial or WWII Memorial at the moment the bomb exploded over Hiroshima (August 6, 8:02am in Japan; August 5, 7:02pm Eastern Daylight Time in Washington, DC)
- a visit with the Hibakusha to the Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Annex near Dulles Airport in Virginia
- Hibakusha visits with local children for educational and cultural activity
- a commemorative service and candlelight vigil for nuclear disarmament in front of the White House at the time of the Nagasaki explosion (August 9, 11:15am in Japan; 10:15pm on August 8 in Washington)
- programs with affiliated groups in Baltimore and Frederick, MD
- attendance of services at local houses of worship that recognize the events and honor the survivors
The work we do would not be possible without the help of many volunteers who help with logistics, transportation, and Japanese interpretation and translation. All who are interested in participating, or who would like more information.
Josephine Butler Nuclear-Free Future Award –
Each year we present this award to honor local activists who embody the spirit of community service and anti-nuclear action. Prior awardees include Arjun Makhijani, former DC City Councilwoman Hilda Mason, WPFW Radio Host Ambrose Lane, Little Friends for Peace founders MJ and Jerry Park and longtime local activists Joe and Rose Marie Flynn.