OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Oak Ridge will host an International Day of Peace celebration Tuesday at a local park which symbolizes peace and unity between the United States and Japan following World War II.

The festivities at Oak Ridge’s International Friendship Bell and Peace Pavilion include Music for Peace program performed by the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association, speakers David Allred and Ziad Demian, Quotes for Peace presented by the Girl Scouts, and a “Gardens for Peace” design raked into the gravel karesansui garden on site by the North American Japanese Garden Association.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to sit along the lawn. Festivities will begin at 5:00 p.m. and last until approximately 8:00 p.m.  

The 8,300-pound bronze International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge was cast in Kyoto, Japan in 1993 for the 50th anniversary of Oak Ridge’s establishment during the Second World War and as a symbol of peace and unity between the United States and Japan.

Oak Ridge was founded for the Manhattan Project’s enrichment of uranium which was used to create the “Little Boy” atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6th, 1945. It became a sister city of Naka-machi, Ibaraki, Japan in 1990.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to wear masks if they are within six feet of others. Organizers ask people to consider leaving or not attending, even if outdoors if they have experienced symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fever, or sore throat, or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

The United National General Assembly established the 2021 International Day of Peace theme as “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” The assembly encourages everyone to think creatively and collectively about how to help our society heal from the pandemic and build resilience.