Write a comment: What are your thoughts, 75 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
What are your thoughts, 75 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? PeaceQuest has launched the From Fear to Hope initiative, and we want to hear from you.
- How might we ensure that the terrible suffering and deaths caused by atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States never happen again?
- What should our governments do?
- What should you and I do?
Please write a comment below… or respond to others’.
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26 replies added
In 7th grade I found a copy of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, “On the Beach.” It tells the story of people in Australia after a global nuclear war, waiting to die as the radiation drifts ever southward. It was an awakening. Years later, still living in sleepy Fredericton, we heard rumours of strange things at a nearby air base in Chatham, NB. Now, I know that it was one of the locations where the United States and Canada kept nuclear weapons in the 1970s, ready to be scrambled aboard Canadian fighter planes to “shoot down” incoming Russian bombers. Living so far away from the political and business centres of Canada, and being so close to nuclear Armageddon, taught me that nobody was safe from these weapons.
I had the great fortune of being sent to Hiroshima for work. I was upset at first because all I knew about Hiroshima was 1945. But living there I learned about friendship and the profound importance of friendship towards peace. Hiroshima taught me that there are no enemies to destroy, only future friends. We need to keep trying, embracing our differences and listening more when we don’t understand each other. Hiroshima is about resilience and how we take fiercely care of each other as friends and family, and as neighbours who share our planet.
I call on Canada to sign and ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
I taught the children of leading nuclear scientists and technicians for several years. Many parents had worked on the Manhattan Project. My wife’s cousin was married to a man who had earned his Ph D under Rutherford and who had also worked on weapons. The point is that even at a distance, we are all implicated in the terrible destruction in 1945. At the same time, I trained as a soldier and know full well that death and destruction are incescapable. So how should we choose to die if our countries are war? Does it matter is we are fire-bombed or burned by radiation? My point is that even if countries could be trusted not to break treaties, banning any weapon is likely not to work. We need to find every way possible to make friends a mong all manner of folk. A peace-generating disposition in every person is what we need.
last century it was frustrating for peace activists to hear this common refrain from those in govt. yes nukes are dangerous but they, and the MAD policy they were part of helped to deter nuclear war.
In response we used to say that’s like a person jumping off a 70 story building and as he or she passes the 50th floor saying “so far so good.”
Although some, not us, believed they served a purpose last century, their continued development, testing, deployment, and inevitable use in the 21st century is not only a bad habit. It demonstrates the addiction and bankruptcy of those in government, as well as the indifference of so many of the rest of us.
Despite all of the dangers posed to all of us by COVID 19, it may also represent an opportunity, possibly our final one, for ordinary people like ourselves to switch off our auto pilots, and to retake responsibility for our lives, for our world, for those who will come after us, if we finally agree to do the right thing and flush all nukes and the fear and fury they represent, so we can use our human, fiscal, and natural resources to build a better world.
Given the clarity of the issue and the urgency with which nuclear stockpiles threaten us, what continues to amaze and disappoint is the weakness of our response. Will we embody hope and demonstrate it.
I’m a former American, not yet born in 1945, but, still, I’ve always felt in some way partially responsible for this tragedy.
It is sad that 75 years after these horrific events, we still haven’t decided, as a species, to rid ourselves of these obscene weapons. We have to keep pushing for that to happen.
My daughter is in her fifties – and is a survivor of thyroid cancer. Her closest friend died a year ago from cancer. They were babies when the USA was doing AERIAL nuclear test and we in Calgary were warned not to put our youngsters out doors at that time. That is when I became a dedicated anti-nuke activist. Nuclear energy sounds a lot better than burning coal or even using natural gas, as we here do. BUT is it worth the still-potent risks? Has thinking stalled on this topic because it is just simpler – and helps the US economy in some States? Have we learned nothing?
Destroying Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended World War II, but it is a terrible tragedy that these bombings occurred. Huge numbers of people lost their lives! Unfortunately mankind has not yet embraced the indisputable fact that we are all one human family, one beautiful human flower garden. As I see it, unless and until we human beings truly believe this fact with all our hearts, conditions on our planet will only get worse. Also, the more we try to resist the irresistible process of all the nations becoming increasingly interdependent, the greater the suffering that will be required to bring us together in unity and harmony. But I’m very optimistic about the far future when I believe humanity will have finally embraced its oneness and when all the peoples of the world will be permanently united in a most glorious spiritual world civilization. My beliefs come from the universal teachings of Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), Founder of the youngest of the major world religions, the Baha’i Faith. “Close your eyes to racial differences, and welcome all with the light of oneness.” — Baha’u’llah
I went to visit Hiroshima last year in April, 2019. It was a very emotionally charged experience for me because since I saw the horrendous pictures of the unnecessary devastation, an act of racism by the U.S, Canada and Britain primarily, as a child, I have worked voluntarily in the anti-nuclear and peace movement. I am now 71. I have witnessed the lies, and ugliness of the nuclear industry coupled with the arms industry. I was brought to tears in the Peace park in Hiroshima when a dedicated group of elderly Hiroshima survivors sang peace songs and took petitions to we, the tourists, calling still for nuclear disarmament. The museum there again has undeniable evidence of the ghastly effects of ionizing radiation, still causing health defects today.
Seventy five years ago and therefore this has been the backdrop of my whole life and we still have not solved it or confronted it. My father was part of nuclear energy and I have lived with the ambivalence of this power being a source of energy and so much destruction… I just feel sad.
I grew up in the 60’s, the Cuban missile crisis and the cold war. At the time, we were told little except by a few brave scientists like Dr. Ursula Franklin, the tooth fairy and the effects of strontium 90 being deposited in teeth. We weren’t told that the US had put missiles aimed at Russia in Turkey and had then promised to remove them for Russia removing them from Cuba. Today, fake news is even more prevalent. The risk of nuclear war with low yield nuclear weapons that are designed to be used makes the world much less safe as the Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight shows us. Hope lies in social movements wanting a Green New Deal and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We must divert money from nuclear weapons and the military to addressing global issues like climate change, radiation, famine, cyberterrorism and pandemics.
I join with the earlier writer to call on Canada to sign and ratify the United Nations Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons.
I also pledge to continue to build friendship and caring for all, wherever I can.
The treat of nuclear exchange is still with us, in some ways we’re at a higher risk than ever before. I worry about destabilization from the impacts or climate change, and these impacts leading to conflicts which could result the use of nuclear weapons. This is one reason among many that this work is so important.
History has definitively shown that the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was completely unnecessary and a completely gratuitous use of overwhelming force against a civilian population.
The horrific inhumanity demonstrated by the Americans is on par with the holocaust itself.
I am furious with Canada’s continued refusal to sign the treaty. And, terrified . . . !
My father was a giant of a man, former RCAF, loved children, loved by everyone.
When we spoke of the bombing, he said “it stopped the war and saved thousands of soldiers”. I was a saucy child and immediately told him “it killed ‘millions’ of men, women and children. I will never forget the look on his face, he was both stunned and speechless!
Years later I realize he was trained to dehumanize the ‘other’ just as we are doing now.
It is a tactic so often used to justify the obscene waste weapons entail.
This site looks like it was faded by excess radiation. I won’t add eye strain to my troubles now.
Canadian Uranium Mining must be held to account.
Stephen,my very first experience of activism was to take part in the last day of the first CND march when it entered London in 1956. I had previously read Bertrand Russell’s ‘Commonsense and Nuclear Weapons’.
I remember being at the University of Birmingham, England, during the Cuban Missile Crisis and wondering whether we would alive the next day.
I am concerned that the memory of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the daily fears for the continuation of life during the Clod War, are being forgotten.
I am concerned that Canadian media pays very little attention to this global threat.
I am concerned that there seems to be no linkage between Green New Deal and nuclear disarmament.
I am concerned that in Chrystia Freedland we have a committed Russia phobe who, very likely, will strongly discourage any attempts to have Canada adopt a more disarmament position.
I am saddened and concerned that nuclear disarmament and speedy abolition of nuclear weapons is still not front and centre of individual government and international concern. Our memorial and recollections of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should motivate our immediate return to this crucial issue. Although we face serious global threats such as climate change and pandemics a nuclear catastrophe would be more devastating. Nuclear disarmament must not lose its priority position in our global peace efforts.
I grew up in the duck-and-cover generation of children urged to hide under their desks in the event of nuclear war (!?!) Today, I have a friend who is a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing. I’ve also learned about Canada’s role in mining uranium, and the Dene generation of widows. I still can’t believe we are still in this nuclear arms race 75 years later, and why hasn’t Canada signed the treaty?
Steve, thanks for making us reflect. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime. Canada should not support nuclear weapons in NATO’s armoury. Their use would be horrific. Our present-day enemies are imaginary and bogus.
Honour is NOT regained through ritual and solemnity that marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (Aug. 6th) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9th).
Nuclear weapons pose a threat to all humanity and to God’s creation, that no one, no country, including Canada, has a right to destroy!
The use of atomic energy for purposes of war (strategic ?!?) is today’s crime against humanity and any possible future for our home—the earth!
Everyone, veterans, arms lobbyists, everyone, must work to end any conditional acceptance of these terrifying new weapons of war!
Hello Steve Staples,
Thank you for asking the question regarding the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. In high school I was taught that the bombing ended the war sooner and saved lives. Fifty years ago by luck I made friends with other young high school students who were involved in peace work against the war in Vietnam. That peace work led me to learn to be critical of official narratives and to study geo-politics. I learned too that the killing of the Japanese on August 6 and 9th was to teach the Soviet Union a lesson – that the US was now number one. I am glad that the peace movement I am a member of which is associated with the World Peace Council has campaigned for peace for over 70 years and has focused on campaigns to ban the bomb. I agree with the previous authors who support Canada signing the treaty to ban nuclear weapons. However, more than that needs to be done. Canada presently has an American First foreign policy – that means Canada sees everything through a US lens in terms of what is good for the multi nationals based in the USA and Canada and disregards international law and the sovereignty of countries around the globe. Canadians need a new made in Canada foreign policy; a Peace Alternative. Such a foreign policy demands political leadership in Ottawa and outside of parliament too. In the next federal election foreign policy should be on the agenda at all candidates’ meetings and talk shows. The best way we can honour the Japanese who were killed by the US on August 6 and 9th, 1945 is by Canada adopting a foreign policy of peace.
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