Locals gathered at the Ethical Society in Clayton on Sunday night in remembrance of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Sunday (Aug. 6) was the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of the two cities. The event was hosted by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The St. Louis celebration was just one of many held around the country. St Louis Citizens for Global Solutions, Peace Economy Project, Veterans for Peace and the World Community Center co-sponsored the event.
Signs that said “Ban the Bomb,” “Pro-Life, Ban the Bomb,” and “No More Nukes” decorated the Ethical Society. Many of them were used in a local Ban the Bomb march held in June to support the recently discussed United Nations Treaty to abolish nuclear weapons. Teen-aged singers from Cabaret Showcase Community Theater were on hand to entertain the small crowd. WILPF member Lynn Sableman said that the remembrance represented a consciousness raising exercise.
“This is about how close we are to the nuclear edge,” Sableman said. “(Secretary of Defense) James Mattis said a couple of years ago that we need to make it a nuclear diet. He said we need to get rid of the land based missiles because they are so prone to problems. The problem of terrorism and nuclear reactors are connected.”
In using civilian nuclear energy, some cite proliferation concerns as a big problem. Acquiring the knowledge to make a nuclear reactor means one has the knowledge to make a nuclear weapons. This makes it possible for terrorist factions to develop nuclear weapons with a knowledge of civilian nuclear energy. Sableman said that contemporary realities will change our outlook on nuclear energy.
“The laws of economics are pushing us toward green energy,” she said. “Renewable, non-fossil fuel energy are the way to go. Just yesterday we found out that the Georgia and North Carolina power company announced that a nuclear power plant in North Carolina has folded because it’s not economical. It’s very costly to build and if there is a mistake then there is a huge expense. You can look at Chernobyl and Fukushima and do the math.”
She also talked about the commercial side of the issue of nuclear weapons – the companies that make these weapons.
“We focus on the root causes of war,” Sableman said. “And we’re very interested in focusing on things that go unnoticed. For example, we’ve all developed a blind eye to the nuclear weapons industry. It’s a huge impediment to our safety. We want to educate, become active and draw attention to it.”
After enjoying a pot luck dinner, attendees watched the documentary “Hibakusha, Our Life to Live” by David Rothauser. The film included interviews with survivors of the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the documentary showing, all moved outside with a lighted candle to hear a reading of Anniversary Letter from the Mayor of Hiroshima. The letter delivered a first-hand account on what it was like to live though that day and also the aftermath of the bombing.