August is that month in which we remember the dropping of the first atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and commit ourselves to the struggle to eliminate nuclear weapons for all time. Great Neck SANE/Peace Action's Annual Commemoration joined by LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives and Physicians for Social Responsibility, Nassau Chapter, will be observed on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 7 to 9 p.m. in Grace Ave. Park, Grace Ave. and Park Place, Great Neck. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held in St. Paul's Church, 68 Grace Avenue, Great Neck.
The program will highlight "Abolition 2000." "Abolition 2000" is striving for an agreement to abolish all nuclear weapons by the year 2000. "With the explosions by India and Pakistan, it becomes even more critical. We are ever closer to the nuclear brink," emphasizes Stanley Romaine, chair of Great Neck SANE/Peace Action. "To remember the past is to commit oneself to the future. To remember Hiroshima is to abhor nuclear war," Pope John Paul II said.
Peace Action activists across the country will be leading vigils, forums, demonstrations and protests to move us closer to that vision of peace.
The Honorable May Newburger, Town of North Hempstead supervisor, will chair the evening. Featured speaker on the program will be Victor W. Sidel, M.D., Distinguished University Professor of Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx. He was one of the founders of Physicians for Social Responsibility in 1961, and was its president in 1987-88. Since 1993, he has been co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the recipient of the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace. He has spoken and published widely on the economic, social, environmental and health consequences of the arms race, and on the risks posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. He is also co-editor of War and Public Health, published by Oxford University Press in 1997. Among his honors are the Sedgwick Medal of the American Health Association for "outstanding accomplishments in public health," and the ALPHA Award for Excellence for "exceptionally meritorious contributions to the improvement of the health of the people." In 1998 he was appointed Cleveringa Visiting Professor of Medicine and Human Rights at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, the first non-Netherlander to be named to the chair. He has been a consultant for the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Other guest speakers on the program will include: Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli; Margaret Melkonian, founding director of the LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives; Diana Coleman, community activist; Rev. B. Lepley, minister at Hollis Woods Community Church, and executive director of LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives; and Stanley Pearman, student coordinator of LI Coalition for Peace and Justice.
The audience will be entertained by a notable musician, Oscar Brand, a leading performer of folk music, with his talented son, Jordan. Jordan has been trained in classical and rock guitar, and has been working with his father since his grammar school days. At Phillips Exeter Academy, Jordan helped create a popular rock band which was a favorite at his school events. He also won the Harvard Book Prize awarded to the outstanding member of Exeter's Junior Class. At Harvard, now, he made the dean's list. He frequently returns home to perform with his father at concerts at venues such as Washington DC's Kennedy Center and LI's Heckscher Park. Jordan can be heard on his father's newest CD: Get a Dog, AZOOSAZOO, and the forthcoming Bawdy Songs Rides Again.
"One of America's best" is an accolade from The New York Times for Oscar Brand. He has been on the faculty of the New School, New York University and Hofstra University. Oscar Brand's name is to be found among the credits of 75 films. He was music director of NBC TV shows, also, host and composer. He has been presenting what is now the oldest continuous radio show in history, the award-winning "Folk-song Festival" on New York Public Radio. He was scripted and scored ballets for Agnes De Mille and John Butler. A curator of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, author of best-selling books, songwriter for Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and the Smothers Brothers are additional accomplishments. Oscar has garnered numerous awards including the Peabody, Ohio State Emmy and Golden Lion for his top-rated work.
Students of the Sukura Japanese Language Center, located in Glen Cove, for children of all nationalities, have been at work constructing peace cranes. Traditionally, the Origami crane (a Japanese craft) is viewed as a symbol of peace and long life. Upon entering the park, each member of the audience will receive a colorful bird, distributed by the students.
In closing the ceremony, the Honorable May Newburger will lead children from the spectators to the Peace Pole to arrange a wreath, fashioned from the cranes, on the Pole. The Peace Pole is used nationally as a symbol, and Great Neck's Pole, six feet tall, was created by Jerry Oberwager, Great Neck. It has inscribed on its four sides, "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in English, Hebrew, Japanese and Spanish.
Co-sponsors of the Remembrance include: (List in Formation) American Jewish Congress, LI Region; Americans for Democratic Action, Great Neck Chapter; Great Neck Womanspace; Justice and Peace Commission, Diocese of Rockville Center; and Five Towns Forum.
The public is invited. Free admission. Please bring chairs or blankets.
For additional information: 482-4278 or 487-3786.