A coalition of several local groups commemorated the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in 1945 with an event meant for reflection and a focus on the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Approximately 200 people attended a 7 a.m. rally and vigil at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Tuesday morning.
Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs, which helped organize the rally, said participants drew outlines of their bodies on the ground with chalk at four entrances to the facility to symbolize those who died in the bombings.
Lab spokeswoman Lynda Seaver said the Alameda County Sheriff's Office cited 31 people for blocking the facility's west entrance.
"It's important for the workers of Livermore Labs to know that there are people out there opposing what they do," said Tri-Valley CAREs Staff Attorney Scott Yundt. "The fact that nuns and priests are getting arrested out there makes them pause and think about what they do."
The event included remarks by the Rev. Nobu Hanaoka, a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing.
"I don't have a personal recollection of the bombing but I lived through the tragedy that followed," Hanaoka said.
He was only eight months old during the bombing, which killed his mother, brother and sister. His father returned to Nagasaki from World War II
when he was two years old and eventually moved the family to Tokyo.
"God spared my life for a reason, to make sure this won't happen again anywhere," he said.
Hanaoka is a retired minister who continues to spread the message against the development of nuclear weapons.
"I just hope the American public will recognize that nuclear weapons are still threatening our future. We don't talk about it as much as we used to but it doesn't mean that the nuclear threat is over," he said.
Yundt added that he had the unusual experience of hearing from a Livermore Lab employee during the protest.
"One bicycled up hoping to enter gate we were protesting at and he paused because he wanted to enter and could not. Then turned around and said ''this is certainly a sight to see,'" Yundt said. "He was clearly moved and slightly annoyed that he couldn't enter."
The United States dropped the "Little Boy" bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and three days later the "Fat Man" bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.