NPO member takes flame from Peace Park’s “Flame of Peace” to send to the Pope

(by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer)

On October 7, an event to take flame from the Flame of Peace in the Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, was held at Peace Memorial Park. The flame will be delivered to the Pope, scheduled to visit Japan in November. Earth Caravan, an NPO in Kyoto, organized the event. Its members are planning to carry the flame to Tokyo by bicycle so it can be used in a mass conducted by the Pope.

Some 10 Earth Caravan members attended the flame lighting ceremony. Kensho Ito, 68, the organization’s Hiroshima executive committee head, and a resident of Higashihiroshima City, took the flame from the Flame of Peace using a torch and placed it into a lamp. The participants sang a song for peace in chorus.

The organization’s members also took flame from the “Monument for the Nagasaki Flame of Commitment” in Nagasaki Peace Park this September. Members will take turns transporting the lamp by bicycle all the way to Tokyo, while visiting such places as Kobe and Kyoto along the way. Mr. Ito said with hope, “This event will give an opportunity to those who see the flame throughout Japan to think about how to create a peaceful world.”

Earth Caravan also visited the Vatican this past March. They also helped Thurlow Setsuko, an A-bomb survivor living in Canada, visit the Vatican. There, she and other organization members met the Pope during his General Audience.

(Originally published on October 8, 2019)