|By G. Michael Dobbs|
HOLYOKE A delegation from the Peace Pagoda in Leverett walked to Holyoke on Aug. 9 as part of a series of marches to raise awareness of the threat of nuclear war.
A member of the Veterans for Peace group accompanied the three-member group from the peace pagoda. All of the marchers met briefly with Holyoke Mayor Michael Sullivan, whose administration has sponsored a number of peace initiatives in Holyoke.
The spokesperson for the group, Sister Claire Carter, said the group had undertaken a five-day series of walks through Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties to mark the anniversaries of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, pan, that ended the Second World War. Their march to Holyoke included a stop in Chicopee to pray for peace outside of the gates of Westover Air Reserve Base.
Carter said the group is calling for everyone to "realize that all war has to cease."
"We are becoming disengaged from our humanity," she added.
Carter said that Sullivan, along with many other Massachusetts mayors, has joined the international Mayors for Peace group that called for global nuclear disarmament by the year 2020. The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki started the group.
"The mayors are joining as they are the people who have immediate care for their communities," she said.
Eric Wasileski of the Veterans for Peace group, said that mayors are in charge of their communities first responders who would be "completely overwhelmed" if there was a nuclear attack.
For more information on the marches, log onto to www.peacepagoda.org or www.veteransforpeace.org.