Peace afloat

LANTERNATIVES This year Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony forewent the traditional Klopp Lake events, instead featuring peaceful creations remembering those who perished in Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945 and Nagasaki Aug. 9, 1945 in Arcata store windows and online at The website includes a message board for intentions, hopes and remembrances plus a photo gallery of past ceremonies and videos, including a documentary of the Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony by local filmmaker Brianna Chapman and other videography.

Above, Dave Meserve sails Klopp Lake at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Inset, lanterns and other offerings in the window at InfuZions on the Plaza. The Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony was introduced 38 years ago by the Arcata Nuclear Free Zone Commission, in part to commemorate the tragic loss of life in the atomic bombings. The ceremony also  brings awareness to the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and to advocate for peace and environmental sustainability.

“Seventy-five years ago, the U.S. Military killed 200,000 people with the first use of nuclear weapons,” Meserve said. “Today, they still hang over us threatening the near-instant obliteration of all life on Earth. It is way past time for the United States and the other nuclear powers to sign on to the United Nations Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. Of the current threats to our existence, including CCOVID-19 and Climate Change, this one step would be the easiest to accomplish, and would remove the greatest direct threat to life.” 

Note that boating on Klopp Lake, a wildlife refuge full of partially treated wastewater, isn’t advisable or legal without permission from the City of Arcata. 

Inset photo by Moonlight Macumber | Union; Klopp Lake photo submitted


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