Friday, August 05, 2005

Remembering Hiroshima: August 6th, 1945

Sixty years ago, at 8:15 in the morning on August 6th, the B-29 Enola Gay dropped a nuclear bomb called "Little Boy" over the center of Hiroshima. An estimated 80,000 Japanese women, men, and children died instantly. Another 60,000 died due to radiation poisoning by the end of 1945. Many thousands more people have died since then from radiation-related causes. When the bomb hit, ordinary people were going about their lives, drinking tea, walking to school, reading the morning paper, taking a street car to work.

The A-bomb was a small beginning. Currently, many of us believe there is little threat of nuclear war so we do not actively oppose nuclear devices. We hear reports that 'developing' countries are building up nuclear weapons, while ignoring the fact that we have steadily increased our nuclear weapons stockpile. One of our modern nuclear missiles is many hundreds of times more powerful than "Little Boy". I heard Dr. Helen Caldicott speak on nuclear arms and disarmament at MIIS last year. The quantity of nuclear warheads in existence and the gruesome details of death by radiation she gave were frightening. We have to disarm.

Sometimes when I walk out to my car, I think what it would be like to be an Iraqi, Palestinian, or Israeli going into my car, or just walking by someone else's parked car, and getting blasted to death. Or, just enjoying some tea and getting vaporized instantly by heat that sucks your skin off and melts you--it could happen. Unless we disarm. We have to talk about it, become informed, educate others, and continue working towards total disarmament.

For more information, click on Dr. Helen Caldicott and interview and
nuclear policy

How do we disarm? His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that peace begins in the individual:

Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way. ... Peace must first be developed within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony that can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, his community, and eventually to the whole world.

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