The Peace Ribbon 2020
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August

Monday, July 6, 2020

"What We Cannot Bear to Think of as Lost Forever in a Nuclear War:
75 Years After Hiroshima and Nagasaki"

Each year, Pax Christi members and others have publicly demonstrated, held vigils, prayed and floated lanterns on the anniversaries of these atomic bombings that caused terrible suffering and loss of life to the Japanese people. We resolve to remember and to work to prevent any further use of nuclear weapons, and ultimately, to ban and then eliminate them. Our  Back from the Brink: A Call to Prevent Nuclear War campaign is one initiative toward that goal.
This year of the pandemic is so different. Pax Christi USA had originally planned a May delegation to Hiroshima to mark the 75th anniversary with Pax Christi International sections from around the world. In Washington, D.C. and throughout the country, peace groups are now creating online ways to achieve these same anti-nuclear goals. 

The Peace Ribbon 2020  is a wonderful opportunity to remember and witness for change that will bring about a nuclear-free world of love and peace. It offers something each individual, local group and family can do.
In 1985, Justine Merritt created the first peace ribbon, a three-foot cloth banner illustrating what she couldn't bear to lose in a nuclear disaster (see photo above). Friends joined her in making peace ribbons . On the 40th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they joined them together and, amazingly, they eventually had a fifteen-mile peace ribbon which they wrapped around the Pentagon, the White House and the U.S. Capitol. In thi s 14-minute video, The Ribbon 2020 , Karen Levad of Minnesota, who participated in the original ribbon project, explains the history, inspiration, purpose and how-tos of making Peace Ribbons.

In solidarity,

Veronica Fellerath-Lowell
Pax Christi USA National Council member

by Kim Vanderheiden, Pax Christi Northern California

Breath of All that Is, 
Preserve us from our own madness. 
Direct us away from dealing destruction to others, 
A path which leads to the ruin 
Of ourselves and our world. 
Protect us. Help us to hear You. 
Jesus Christ, Beloved, 
Show us your precious face in all others, 
You in us, and we in each other, from all places. 
Teach us how to lower our defenses, 
Feed us Love which transcends fear. 
Heal us. Help us to let go of all fear. 
Holy Spirit, 
You call us, in our minds, in our world, 
And through each other. Speak to us. Speak through us. 
When we worship power, control, money, 
When we cannot forgive, or shove pain onto others, 
Call us. Light the fire of Love. 
We will not be afraid. 
We will not be afraid. 
Love transcends all fear. 
You are with us always.  Amen. 

Prayer cards with Kim's artwork can be ordered from Pax Christi Northern California. More prayer resources for The Peace Ribbon will be uploaded at this link in the coming weeks.


2. Go to the Hiroshima/Nagasaki75 #stillhere website, which has extensive resources for the August 6th and 9th anniversaries. Over 100 organizations, including Pax Christi USA, are endorsing this two-day event. Physicians for Social Responsibility, the lead organizer, has a webinar (48 minutes) in preparation for the event.


Learn about these current congressional bills:

  • New START Extension - H.R. 2529 / S. 2394the Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces, to extend the New START Treaty.
  • No New Nuclear Testing or Funding - HALT Act, calling for renewed U.S. leadership to negotiate a multilateral freeze on testing, production, and further deployment of nuclear weapons. 

Join the Peace Ribbon 2020 campaign. Visit Pax Christi USA's website to learn more about the Peace Ribbon and upcoming events.
This year there were plans to recreate the Peace Ribbon as part of the national events marking the Hiroshima-Nagasaki 75th anniversaries on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 2020. Now these national plans have gone virtual. Online events and taped segments will be live-streamed all day on Aug. 6 and 9 on the Hiroshima/Nagasaki75 website.
What you can do individually or as a group!
  • Make a peace ribbon and display it from your window or other prominent place.
  • Take a photo of your ribbon, or yourself with your ribbon, with a short explanation and post it to Facebook.
  • Plan for your local group members to each make a ribbon in a socially distanced setting or organize virtually and make ribbons at home.
  • Be creative. Arrange to upload peace ribbon photos to a parish website, or even a video showing each person holding their peace ribbon and stating briefly what "they couldn't bear to lose" in a nuclear disaster.
  • Participate in, or organize, an in-person vigil (masked and socially distanced) for the Aug. 6-9 Hiroshima Nagasaki 75th anniversary. There are already vigils planned in Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, etc.
To support the work of Pax Christi USA, click here .
For the latest resources to put your faith into action for peace and justice, visit the Pax Christi USA website