The Peace Ribbon is one woman’s vision that inspired tens of thousands. After being deeply affected by a visit to Hiroshima in 1975, Justine Merritt used her Christmas card list to invite 100 friends and relatives to join in wrapping a “Ribbon” around the Pentagon as a reminder that life is precious and nuclear war is unthinkable – a symbol of peace to surround a symbol of war.

The idea grew to include tens of thousands of people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds, across all 50 states and a number of countries. On August 4, 1985, 25,000 – 30,000 ribbon panels held by about 15,000 people were joined together to wrap the Pentagon, White House and Capitol, about 15 miles of panels in all. It was the largest ever event of its kind, and mostly women-led. Read about FAN’s own Sr. Marie Lucey’s experience as she was in attendance.

(Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, IA with their Peace Ribbin panels, 2020)

As followers of St. Francis, a peacemaker in his time, FAN is using the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a call to recommit ourselves to advocate for a world free of the threat and tyranny of nuclear weapons.

We join Pax Christi USA and a coalition of other organizations in raising awareness of the imminent threat of nuclear weapons in our world today. We will call on our members and friends to reflect on what befalls us if nuclear weapons were to ever rain down on the Earth again. The Peace Ribbon 2020 project aims to spur the imagination of all that would be lost if we succumb again to the use of a nuclear weapon. We urge everyone to check out the new website for Peace Ribbon 2020 and commit to educating yourself and others, and participate by creating your own panel for the Peace Ribbon 2020.

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