Seventy-two years ago, on August 6 and 9, the U.S. Government did the unspeakable and dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thus beginning the Nuclear Age. On the anniversaries of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are co-sponsoring two events with the Washington DC Catholic Worker in an effort to repent and not forget.
The U.S. has never repented for the use of these weapons of indiscriminate mass murder. It is estimated that over 135,000 people died in Hiroshima and more than 64,000 in Nagasaki. In the subsequent months and years, many more perished from the effects of burns, radiation sickness and other injuries. Moreover, the U.S. has continued to build even deadlier weapons which endanger all of creation. Today the U.S. possesses nearly 7,000 nuclear weapons, many of which are on hair-trigger alert, and proposes to spend an estimated $1 trillion over the next 30 years to “modernize” it’s existing nuclear arsenal.
On July 7, 2017, at the conclusion of a special “UN Conference To Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons,” 122 countries historically voted to legally prohibit nuclear weapons. The “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” bans nuclear weapons and establishes a framework for the elimination of nuclear weapons programs – including warheads, materials, delivery systems, and facilities. This effort is grounded in the recognition of the catastrophic harm this kind of weaponry poses to both human life and planet Earth. All of the countries that bear nuclear arms and the countries that come under the protection of/store weapons in the nuclear-bearing countries boycotted the negotiations. This boycott and the continuation of nuclear weapons is starkly wrong, and we continue to call on the U.S., the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons, to endorse this treaty and to lead the way to total worldwide nuclear disarmament (United Nations, New York Times).
Please join us at these events to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to call for the end of nuclear weapons:
Sunday, August 6 @ White House from 7:30 – 8:30 AM (August 6th is the anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the Feast of the Transfiguration): There will be a Nonviolent Witness and Prayer Service of Repentance outside the White House. Meet on north side of White House on Pennsylvania Ave–across from Lafayette Park. (8:15 AM is the exact time that the bomb was dropped in Hiroshima)⠀
Wednesday, August 9 @ Pentagon from 12:30-1:30 PM (August 9th is the anniversary of U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki): There will be a Nonviolent witness and Prayer Service of Repentance at the Pentagon. For those driving, please meet on corner of Army-Navy Drive and Fern St. @ 12:15 PM a.m. and process to vigil site at 12:20 PM.⠀
If you are coming by metro, please get off at Pentagon stop–Yellow Line). Take south exit coming out of metro. When you reach the top of escalator go left and then right on the sidewalk going away from building toward South Parking lot. Vigil site is down on the left side behind a bicycle fence.