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Dallas Activists Remember Hiroshima/Nagasaki
At sunup on August 6, Liz Branch and other activists were at
Ferris Plaza in downtown Dallas to commemorate the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima.
They did a silent vigil across the street from the Dallas Morning News and the
train station. Written on their black umbrellas were slogans against any further
use of nuclear weapons.
Several other activities in Dallas, Arlington, and Ft Worth were
planned. The Dallas Peace Center forwarded this message from the current mayor
Another August 6, and the horrors of 63 years ago arise undiminished
in the minds of our hibakusha, whose average age now exceeds 75. "Water,
please!" "Help me!" "Mommy!" - On this day, we, too,
etch in our hearts the voices, faces and forms that vanished in the hell no
hibakusha can ever forget, renewing our determination that no one else should
ever suffer as we did."
Because the effects of that atomic bomb, still eating away at the minds and
bodies of the hibakusha, have for decades been so underestimated, a complete
picture of the damage has yet to emerge. Most severely neglected have been the
emotional injuries. Therefore, the city of Hiroshima is initiating a two-year
scientific exploration of the psychological impact of the A-bomb experience.
This study should teach us the grave import of the truth, born of tragedy and
suffering, that "the only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished."
This truth received strong support from a report compiled last November by the
city of Hiroshima. Scientists and other nuclear-related experts exploring the
damage from a postulated nuclear attack found once again that only way to protect
citizens from such an attack is the total abolition of nuclear weapons. This
is precisely why the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International
Court of Justice advisory opinion state clearly that all nations are obligated
to engage in good-faith negotiations leading to complete nuclear disarmament.
Furthermore, even leaders previously central to creating and implementing US
nuclear policy are now repeatedly demanding a world without nuclear weapons.
We who seek the abolition of nuclear weapons are the majority. United Cities
and Local Governments, which represents the majority of the Earth''s population,
has endorsed the Mayors for Peace campaign. One hundred ninety states have ratified
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. One hundred thirteen countries and regions
have signed nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. Last year, 170 countries voted
in favor of Japan's UN resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Only three countries, the US among them, opposed this resolution. We can only
hope that the president of the United States elected this November will listen
conscientiously to the majority, for whom the top priority is human survival.
To achieve the will of the majority by 2020, Mayors for Peace, now with 2,368
city members worldwide, proposed in April of this year a Hiroshima-Nagasaki
Protocol to supplement the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This Protocol calls
for an immediate halt to all efforts, including by nuclear-weapon states, to
obtain or deploy nuclear weapons, with a legal ban on all acquisition or use
to follow by 2015. Thus, it draws a concrete road map to a nuclear-weapon-free
world. Now, with our destination and the map to that destination clear, all
we need is the strong will and capacity to act to guard the future for our children.
World citizens and like-minded nations have achieved treaties banning anti-personnel
landmines and cluster munitions. Meanwhile, the most effective measures against
global warming are coming from cities. Citizens cooperating at the city level
can solve the problems of the human family because cities are home to the majority
of the world's population, cities do not have militaries, and cities have built
genuine partnerships around the world based on mutual understanding and trust.
The Japanese Constitution is an appropriate point of departure for a "paradigm
shift" toward modeling the world on intercity relationships. I hereby call
on the Japanese government to fiercely defend our Constitution, press all governments
to adopt the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, and play a leading role in the effort
to abolish nuclear weapons. I further request greater generosity in designating
A-bomb illnesses and in relief measures appropriate to the current situations
of our aging hibakusha, including those exposed in "black rain areas"
and those living overseas.
Next month the G8 Speakers' Meeting will, for the first time, take place in
Japan. I fervently hope that Hiroshima's hosting of this meeting will help our
"hibakusha philosophy" spread throughout the world.
Now, on the occasion of this 63rd anniversary Peace Memorial Ceremony, we offer
our heartfelt lamentations for the souls of the atomic bomb victims and, in
concert with the city of Nagasaki and with citizens around the world, pledge
to do everything in our power to accomplish the total eradication of nuclear
The City of Hiroshima
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