The United States bombed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan, 67 years ago this month.
The bombing ended World War II. The lives lost in early August 1945, prompts groups worldwide to remember the costs of nuclear action to this day.
"There's a natural tendency in us to kind of not remember the hard things in life, ya know? And this is one of those very very awful events that we would probably rather forget,” Raelyn Joyce said.
Joyce is a member of KNOW, Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War. She continued, “But it happened, and it happened as a result of the action of the US government."
"Horrendous destruction and deaths occurred," Joyce said.
History books document the catastrophe. The atomic bomb killed an estimated 350,000 people, most of them innocent civilians.
So Sunday evening, Kalamazoo residents came together to remember those who died and to say ‘not again,’ here or anywhere else in the world.
"Today, there's still the threat, but I think the awareness is much greater than it was," David Staiger, of KNOW said.
Those at the event had the chance to share in Japanese culture, through music and art. "To knowing that, we can understand each other, way of thinking or way of living also. So knowing each other's culture is very important for us," Miwa Hiroshima, a Western Michigan University student said.
It's the process of learning each other's culture and nurturing understanding that know hopes will bring about peace and help stave off a nuclear arms race.
"President Obama seems to have a great awareness of this issue. I'm speaking for me. But I think the US, as the most powerful country in the world can lead by example," Staiger said.
The movement didn’t stop with the commemoration. KNOW encouraged everyone at the event to write a letter to the President and Congress, encouraging them to end weaponized nuclear programs.