To avoid a future catastrophe, we must act today.
On the 6th of August, 1945 at 8:00am, President Truman of the USA ordered the dropping of the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. On the 9th of August, 1945, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. In seconds the two cities were devastated and thousands of people had been killed in an instant. In the subsequent days more people died who were further away from the centres of the explosions and today the few remaining survivors still suffer the consequences of radiation, which has also been passed on to the following generations. Days later the Japanese Empire surrendered, marking the end of the Second World War.
The authors of that massacre tried to justify it by alleging that it was necessary to force the submission of the enemy in order to avoid worse evils, but the reality is that this monstrosity created a much bigger danger because the unleashed nuclear ingenuity has grown and multiplied until threatening the existence of the whole of humanity.
The United States tried to maintain a nuclear monopoly so that no one else could possess this destructive capacity. Nevertheless, in 1949 the Soviet Union detonated her own nuclear bomb. Since then, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea have developed nuclear weapons. There are also undenied suspicions that Israel also has these weapons of mass destruction.
Some 30,000 nuclear warheads threaten the entire world today.
Although it’s encouraging that the leaders of the USA and Russia have once more put nuclear disarmament on the negotiating table, we cannot forget that we are living in a moment of high risk. To the irresponsible interests of the nuclear powers and the madness of violent groups with possible access to nuclear material of lesser magnitude, we must add the risk of accident that could detonate a devastating conflict.
To avoid a repeat nuclear catastrophe in the future we must act today. We must create consciousness of the need for reduced tensions and cooperation between peoples.
Let’s make a common force in the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, demanding of decision-makers:
• global nuclear disarmament,
• the immediate withdrawal of troops invading occupied territories,
• progressive and proportional reduction in conventional weapons
• the signing of non-aggression treaties between countries, and
• the renunciation of governments of the use war as a means to resolve conflicts.
The World March for Peace and Nonviolence is a call on the personal consciousness of every one of us, it’s the voice that we have to raise together, it’s a moral proposal and it’s what we need to do in this difficult moment we are going through.
The horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has not been consigned to history. The images of pain and absurd death continue to live in our consciences but at the same time they feed our profound aspiration for a world where never again will this atrocity be possible.
Today we remember the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to honour their memory and strengthen a worldwide movement that is open and diverse, that rejects all forms of violence and affirms the human being as the highest value.
Rafael de la Rubia
Coordinator – World March for Peace and Nonviolence.