Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hiroshima Day

Today is a day of remembrance for the victims of the bombing of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.    It is estimated that between 90,000-166,000 people died in Hiroshima and 60,000-80,000 in Nagasaki.   Today is a time to reflect on the terrible power of nuclear weapons and to contemplate a world at peace.
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The Hiroshima Peace Memorial was built around the ruins of this building, the Genbaku Dome, which remained mostly intact despite the fact that the bomb was detonated almost directly above the building.

From the one of the victims, known as a Hiroshima Maiden, who was seriously disfigured as a result of the bomb:  
As a [survivor], I am determined to continue appealing for the elimination of nuclear weapons from the Earth. That is what I must do. We survivors of the atomic bombing are against the research, development, testing, production, and use of any nuclear arms. We are opposed to war of any kind, for whatever reason.  I would like to say to young people in the United States and other countries: Nuclear weapons do not deter war. Nuclear weapons and human beings cannot co-exist. We all must learn the value of human life. If you do not agree with me on this, please come to Hiroshima and see for yourself the destructive power of these deadly weapons at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. (
Nuclear weapons do not make the world a safer place as one day it will be all too easy for a power-hungry leader to push the button that will lead us down the road to human annihilation.  According to Ploughshares Fund, there are approximately 20,000 nuclear warheads worldwide, with around 9,000 in the United States, significantly more than any other nation except Russia.  As Father John Dear, S.J. commented in a speech, when we were looking for weapons of mass destruction, we should have looked in our own backyard.  

In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. bravely spoke out against the war in Vietnam.  His position was not a popular one but, as time has revealed, the right one.  It is time for concerned human beings to speak out against the continued existence of nuclear weapons.  For inspiration, here is a YouTube video of excerpts of Dr. King's speech:    

(Photo source:

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