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Indybay Feature
Sun Aug 9 2015
70th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings Commemorated
Santa Cruz Residents Continue to Work for a World Without Nuclear Weapons
On August 2, community members in Santa Cruz came together to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "Let us recommit ourselves to a world without nuclear weapons and without war," an announcement for the gathering read. The evening began with musicians playing in front of the Collateral Damage statue, which was installed next to the Town Clock on the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombings as a memorial to all civilian casualties of war. After the performances, the gathering concluded with a candlelight vigil where people had the opportunity to express their thoughts.

Individuals spent some time waxing and buffing the bronze Collateral Damage sculpture, in order to beautify it, and flowers were placed around its base. E.A. Chase, the artist who created it, was in attendance. As musicians played, he looked on fondly with bright, glowing eyes. At the dedication of the statue on August 5, 1995, Chase said that he originally created the sculpture to "arouse" people out of their complacency regarding nuclear testing and to face the real threat of nuclear war.

"This dedication of the Collateral Damage sculpture represents not the despair its conception was motivated by, but a victory for the voices of peace and intelligence," Chase said at the dedication in 1995. Presently, organizers say one of the issues they are concerned with is the tension between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.

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