“Everything You Treasure” Comes to Southern Nevada
The exhibition made its Southern Nevada debut Aug. 14–24 at the SGI-USA Las Vegas Buddhist Center.
by Stan Friedman
SPECIAL TO THE TRIBUNE
Aug. 14–24— On the heels of the U.N.’s adoption of the first international treaty banning nuclear weapons, SGI-USA members of Las Vegas Region created history of their own.
The international peace exhibition “Everything You Treasure— For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons” made its Southern Nevada debut at the SGI-USA Las Vegas Buddhist Center from Aug. 14 to 24.
The exhibition was co-created in 2012 by the SGI and the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Through this activity, the members aspired to provide a powerful prelude to next year’s gathering of “50,000 Lions of Justice,” which was originally inspired by the events of Sept. 8, 1957. On that day, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda made his Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons before 50,000 Soka Gakkai youth, entrusting them with the mission to create a society built on the dignity and respect for all human life.
SGI-USA Las Vegas Region received an outpouring of support for the event, including letters from ICAN, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Los Alamos Study Group in New Mexico. In addition, representatives of Nevada Humanities, World Affairs Council, U.S. Rep. Ruben Kihuen and the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada viewed the exhibition at the center.
Opening night saw over 100 members and guests, and highlighted the previously untold story of local SGI-USA member Hifumi Martin, who was just 13 years old and living on the outskirts of Nagasaki when the second atomic bomb was dropped. “Please eradicate war from our world and continue to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for peace,” she said.
In closing remarks, West Territory Leader Steve Mortan noted that the Las Vegas event took on even greater significance being held in Nevada, where the Nevada Test Site carried out 928 nuclear tests between 1951–92 (more than any other place in the world).
Reaffirming the efforts of the local members, Mr. Mortan emphasized that the urgent call for nuclear disarmament is not something someone else will do. “It depends on each of us standing up and making our own individual efforts for peace in our communities.”