N.J. residents board Peace Train

Sparta UMC members wave goodbye to nuclear weapons

Sparta (N.J.) United Methodist Church members waved goodbye to nuclear weapons last month during demonstrations related to the United Nations Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

NEW YORK, N.Y. — New Jersey Peace Action (NJPA), founded in 1957 as NJ SANE, has an unwavering mission to work for global nuclear disarmament. NJPA carries onward today with a growing groundswell of community volunteer support from its members and local coalition partners.

Members of the congregation concluded the prayer by waving goodbye to nuclear weapons.

Persons from Sussex, Warren and Morris counties rallied for the Peace & Planet Mobilization March beginning at Union Square and ending at the United Nations here. The march coincided with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference that takes place every five years at the United Nations.

Thousands of people from around the world gathered over the weekend of April 24-26 to attend two days of Peace & Planet programs and workshops. Following that they participated in the march and rally, which was a world gathering of planet-mindful communities of peace.

Litsa Binder, Sparta, N.J., resident and NJPA board member, coordinated the local gathering of the Sunday, April 26, event, which started early in the morning at the Sparta United Methodist Church.

Congregation members crafted a project that assembled peace necklaces to be handed out to Japanese, including Hiroshima atomic-bomb survivors who attended the march here. A blessing of peace was given by the Rev. Janice Sutton Lynn.

Members of the congregation concluded the prayer by waving goodbye to nuclear weapons as part of a Global Wave that began on Sunday and would end on Monday, April 27, at 1:20 p.m. at the United Nations.

Flags, banners and posters

The Sparta group, following the prayer service, traveled to the Dover Train Station to meet with other groups as a wave of people boarding the Peace Train to New York. The Dover Station Peace Train gathering connected with members of NJPA and board members, including Judith Arnold, board president, and Madelyn Hoffman, executive director.

Also taking the Peace Train from Dover was Veterans for Peace Chapter 21, including Geoffrey Ithen and Wendy Fisher from Andover Township.

Other Peace Train riders boarded the train in Morristown, South Orange and Newark, all in New Jersey.

Participants spanned several generations but shared an eagerness to board the train. They carried flags, banners and posters urging for peace and a better world, and a ban to nuclear weapons.

“Over one thousand Japanese attended the Peace & Planet mobilization this year, 70 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in part to tell us how dangerous it would be for Japan to regain weapons of war,” Hoffman said. “We stand in solidarity with the people of Japan calling for an end to war and an end to nuclear weapons.”

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