Hiroshima Survivors Call for Ban on Nukes

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – Survivors of the deadly blasts that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years ago joined hundreds of activists in support of a global ban on nuclear weapons.

They rallied Saturday at the birthplace of the atomic bomb, outside the national labs that feed today’s nuclear arsenal, on the tiny island where the Enola Gay took off for Hiroshima with its deadly payload, and in the nation’s capital.

Bombing survivor Koji Ueda attended a rally in the Los Alamos park where there were research laboratories when the Manhattan Project developed the world’s first atomic bomb.

“No more Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis,” Ueda said. “We send this message to our friends all over the world, along with a fresh determination of the ‘hibakusha’ (atomic bomb survivors) to continue to tell about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, aiming at a planet set free of wars of nuclear weapons.”

In Oak Ridge, Tenn., 15 protesters from a group of more than 1,000 were arrested for blocking a road outside the heavily guarded weapons factory that helped fuel the bomb during World War II.

At the Nevada Test Site, about 200 peace activists, including actor Martin Sheen, gathered for a nonviolent demonstration outside the gates. Dozens were given citations and released after crossing police lines. There was no immediate count of exactly how many were detained.

In California, hundreds of activists marched to the gates of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, some holding sunflowers and others hoisting a 40-foot inflatable “missile.”

The city of Hiroshima, meanwhile, marked the anniversary with prayers and water for the dead.At 8:15 a.m., the instant of the blast, Hiroshima’s trolleys stopped and more than 55,000 people at Peace Memorial Park observed a moment of silence that was broken only by the ringing of a bronze bell.”

I share this with you because it is worth thinking about. But as always it is easy to look back and suggest doing things a different way. It is entirely possible that dropping the bomb ended the war sooner and saved lives. There are many who feel that way, and than again maybe it could have been avoided.

It is worth thinking about, but I do think that there is something to be said for looking at things from a distance and not during the time and place of the event.

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