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COLUMBIA - A Columbia group battled the rain at Stephens Lake Park Saturday night to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The group, Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, has gathered in Columbia every year since 1987 to remember the victims of the atomic bombs.

Members of the group made paper lanterns with drawings and phrases, such as "No more war," urging peace.

The lanterns honored the victims lost in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and served as a symbol of hope for the future.

Mid-Missouri Peaceworks Director Mark Haim said nuclear weapons are as dangerous now as they have ever been.

"The threat has not gone away. In fact, the threat today is in many ways greater than it was back during the Cold War, Haim said. "There are more nations with nuclear weapons and there are fewer safeguards in place to prevent nuclear wars."

In addition to looking back at the events in Japan during World War II, the event also looked forward and examined the future of climate change, racial policing and economic and social inequality in Columbia.

Event attendee Andrew Hutchinson said it's important people get involved in their local communities if they want them to improve.

"Before we can really start tackling systemic inequality and tackling issues of infrastructure, police disparity or whatever, we have to make sure people are out and voting and out involved in these city council elections," Hutchinson said.

 

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