Veterans for Peace & Peace Action of Broome worked together to produce a Children’s Peace Fair this past Hiroshima Day, August 6. Adults said it was a resounding success.
Earlier in the day, adults kept our decades-long tradition around 8 AM we rang the huge ground bell at the First Congregational Church Binghamton to sound off the horror start of the nuclear weapon age, the incineration of Hiroshima. Comments were made by a number of people and then coffee and snacks in the parlor and then set up jobs in the First Congregational parking lot as we hauled tables and chairs up from the basement.
By 10 AM all was in place but no kids. Around 10:15 a few came and then someone called out: “Look whose coming”? Children by the score were hiking to the Fair from the Urban League and Columbus Park many blocks away. Hearts were raised to see them flock around the large bell and help ring in the Children’s Peace Fair.
Some children were interviewed by local TV reporters as Hillary Rozek, Choir Director of her group, Kenny’s Kid’s sang peace songs on the church steps (later Hilary would come back with 24 high school kids to do great song and dance from the play she was directing, Lion King, Jr). Mrs Terry Dempsey had two tables including a Peace Photo Shop plus lots of ground space for her multiple peace-oriented games and creative peace art such as painting peace slogans or words on rocks to be left in parks or given to others. A big attraction were parrots…birds rescued and maintained by (need her name). Jennifer Jones of Parrott rescue had kids feeding a large blue and gold macaw and an Australian sulfur crested Cockatoo. Helena Garan and Nancy McDonough took in Kimonos for kids to try on and one young woman didn’t shed her kimono until the fair was almost over. Silvia Martinichio invited children to learn Yoga on the Front St lawn side of the church one little three-year-old red head stole the show of new yoga performers. MaryEllen Gilroy had kids doing sidewalk chalk drawings of peace symbols as her sister Maureen had kids do a large Peace Puzzle. Marlene Lausen had a table of origami papers and taught kids (and Fr Tim Taugher) the art of paper folding. Cecily O’Neil offered kids homemade Peace Scarves as Josie & Ameerah, teenage Johnson City Middle School girls wowed the crowd with their talented dance moves. Ann and Jim Clune and Ellen Connett offered kids watermelon and ice cream bars and ice pop sticks–thanks to the generosity of Bonnie Mando and Doug Garner.
All the while, our videographer, Vera Scroggins was busy capturing the action that she later put on YouTube as a five-minute Children’s Peace Fair, Binghamton NY.