LEWISTON — A gathering aimed at recommitting to no nuclear war and commemorating Bernard Lown, the Nobel Prize-winning namesake of the local Bernard Lown Peace Bridge, is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Gendron Franco Center on Cedar Street.

That day marks the anniversary of the U.S. nuclear attack on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

After the program in the center is completed, the assembly will move to the monument honoring Lown at the nearby peace bridge. Further reflections will be offered; the observances end at 11:30 a.m.

Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline will offer welcoming remarks. Auburn resident Allen Harvie will preside. The following people are speaking:

• Former Lewiston Mayor Laurent Gilbert will recall Lown’s contributions and the 2008 campaign to rename the bridge in his honor.

• Doug Dransfeld, MD, will testify to the urgency of eliminating nuclear weapons and, as head of the Maine chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, will report on the group’s work toward that cause.

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• Ted Walworth, MD, experienced in working for Doctors Without Borders, will reflect on the public role of physicians advocating for world peace.

• Denny Dreher and Fred Brodeur will speak on behalf of Pax Christi Maine.

The short film “Dr. Lown: A Documentary” will be shown. It documents U.S. and Soviet physicians collaborating for peace.

Organizing the event are Maine Veterans for Peace, Peace Action Maine, and Physicians for Social Responsibility — Maine Chapter. Sponsors include PeaceWorks of Brunswick, Maine and Pax Christi Maine.

Lown, who died in 2021, was a famous cardiologist who invented the DC defibrillator. He and Soviet cardiologist Eugene Chazov in 1980 co-founded the group International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which remains active (visit ippnw.org).

Through their efforts, physicians joined in a worldwide campaign for a moratorium on nuclear weapons. Lown and Chazov together received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

Organizers of the event require that attendees wear protective facial masks inside the Gendron Franco Center; they will be provided.

For more information, call Laurent Gilbert Sr. at 207-632-7373 or email Doug Rawlings (Maine Veterans for Peace) at [email protected].

 

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