This week I’m sharing a couple of pictures from my local area, and being a bit of a home-town tourist. I currently live just outside Milton Keynes, in the south of England. Milton Keynes has a bit of a reputation as a boring place; it’s a New Town notable for its grid system of roads and considerable number of roundabouts, the extensive shopping mall and concrete plazas of the town centre. They even have concrete cows.
But its also home to some surprising things; like the Peace Pagoda next to Willen Lake. A Japanese Buddhist stupa, it is part of a worldwide network built to inspire peace among all people. The Milton Keynes pagoda was the first to be built in the western hemisphere.
Every August, monks from the nearby Buddhist temple hold a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the later bombing of Nagasaki, which effectively brought WWII to an end, at the terrible cost of around 200, 000 lives, most of them civilians. After the ceremony ends at sunset, members of the local community join the monks in a procession to the lake in front of the stupa with homemade lanterns, letting them float out across the lake in the gathering darkness.
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