Seventy-four years ago, on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the unsuspecting civilian population of Hiroshima, and three days later we unleashed a second atomic bomb on the residents of Nagasaki.
Schools, homes and families were incinerated in Hiroshima. Nearly 100,000 residents perished immediately, and more than 140,000 men, women and children died within five months. Many thousands more suffered lingering deaths from radiation poisoning in the months and years that followed. Nuclear radiation is an indiscriminate killer.
The nuclear age was ushered in by the blood of the Japanese people. Debates still rage about whether this was what ended World War II. Not debatable is the devastation wrought upon regular people going about their daily routines: children in classrooms, babies in arms, women shopping for food, men working.
Along with others, I remember and commemorate those lost on this anniversary. We stand up to today’s warmongers and promise “never again.” We protest continued nuclear development and dedicate ourselves to the global abolition of these weapons that endanger us all. We bow our heads and pray for peace.
I invite my Tri-Valley neighbors to join me in this ardent effort to eliminate the most inhumane weapons on the planet.
Together, we can change the mission of the Lawrence Livermore laboratory from its current focus on new nuclear bomb design to a civilian scientific purpose instead – and to the necessary cleanup of the toxic and radioactive legacy of the nuclear age.
On Tuesday, August 6, at 8 a.m., I will gather with others at the northwest corner of the Lab at Patterson Pass and Vasco Roads in Livermore to hear from an A-bomb survivor Nobuaki Hanaoka, and whistleblower and former defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg.
After the rally, I plan to walk to the West Gate to participate in a Japanese Bon dance and commemorative “die in.” I will use my presence to promote peace. I hope you will join me.