“Path of Light” illuminates Hiroshima for the G8 Speakers’ Summit

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

With the hope that Hiroshima’s appeal for peace can shine out into the world, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the venue for the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers on September 2, was aglow with light on August 31. The light illuminates the path leading to the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, on which the speakers will walk, as well as the A-bomb Dome, a World Heritage site. The illumination in the park will continue for three days, brightening expectations for the Speakers’ Summit.

The executive committee for this project, composed of the city of Hiroshima, the Junior Chamber International Hiroshima, and other organizations, conceived the idea to illuminate the park. With the opportunity presented by hosting the G8 meeting in Hiroshima, the project aims to convey the hope of Hiroshima in a visual way to people from Japan and from abroad who are visiting Hiroshima at this time. The ceremony to switch on the illumination was held in the park at 7:30 pm.

Four large “paper crane lanterns” have been placed in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, the A-bomb Dome, and the Children’s Peace Monument. These lanterns were created from the “paper crane portable shrine” floats that were first carried in the Hiroshima Flower Festival in May 2007. The lanterns, emitting light from electric bulbs inside, add an air of fantasy to the sites in which they sit.

On September 2, the date for the meeting, the speakers will move down the walkway connecting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum with the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. About 60 junior high and high school students have laid out candles along this path, creating a path of light that reflects their hopes for peace.

Rika Aso, 14, a third-year student at Ujina Junior High School, said, “I hope the speakers will make every effort to resolve conflicts in the world through dialogue.”

On this day, August 31, desks and other equipment for the meeting were set up in the International Conference Center Hiroshima located inside the park, too. Rehearsals for the choirs who will welcome the speakers with their music, as well as welcome events prepared by students, have concluded. The city of Hiroshima is ready to welcome the speakers of the G8 nations on September 1.

(Originally published on September 1, 2008)

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