CARLSBAD, Calif. – Residents gathered Friday at the Carlsbad City Library to commemorate the 77 years of peace between the United States and Japan since an atomic bomb was used in Hiroshima.

The Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors held a Zoom session with residents of Futtsu, Japan – Carlsbad’s sister city – for the 2022 Ringing of the Peace Bells ceremony. The group rang the bells 77 times to mark each year that has passed since the bombs were dropped on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945.

“The Ringing of Peace Bells ceremony is a stellar example of how libraries can serve as community connectors to help bring people together, even from different parts of the world. With a focus on the themes of peace and friendship, the event allowed children and adults alike to better understand the interconnectedness that exists in our world,” said Bill Sannwald, senior librarian with the City of Carlsbad.

Friday’s ceremony also included a storytime and a craft, all in remembrance of the more than 150,000 lives lost when the bombs were dropped.

“Our goal is for the shared experience to foster feelings of understanding, acceptance and togetherness between people with very different customs and cultures,” Sannwald said.

According to the organization’s website, Sister Cities International was created during the 1950s to help foster a global community by enlisting the help of cities across the world.

“The value of face-to-face meetings and personal relationships across borders doesn’t just change the lives of individuals, but helps communities all over the world to thrive,” Sister Cities says on its website.