This week will see the somber 75th anniversary of the two atomic bombs dropped, on August 6 and August 9th, 1945 respectively, of nuclear weapons on the heavily populated Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Citizen groups around the world will be marking this anniversary with a broad range of commemorations, most of them held on-line and thus open to participation from all around the globe. Here is information about some of these:
** The City of Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Ceremony, on August 6, 6:30 am – 8:50 am JST. NOTE: JST is 13 hours ahead of US Eastern time, so if you want to live-watch this ceremony, timed to coincide with the detonation of the bomb itself, then you’ll need to start at 5:30 pm ET on Wednesday, August 5.
** The Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, Gensuikyo, is organizing several online events this week. Many will be bilingual in Japanese and English, or Japanese and other languages. Among these are:
- Rally of Solidarity with Okinawa and the dismantling of foreign military bases on August 4, 10 am – Noon JST (Aug. 3, 9-11 pm ET)
- Rally supporting the Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), on August 5, 10 am – Noon JST (Aug. 4, 9-11 pm ET)
- Hiroshima Day Rally on August 6, 10 am – Noon JST (Aug. 5, 9 – 11 pm, ET)
** The Washington, DC-based Friends Council on National Legislation has a great list of commemorative events being held in numerous U.S. cities this week.
** Our friend Joseph Gerson has shared the following list of related resources:
- Sumiteru TANIGUCHI’s memoir, The Atomic Bomb on My Back. Translated from the Japanese and edited by yours truly, it provides the painful history of one of the most tortured A-Bomb survivors, his courageous commitment to live a loving and full life, and the story of the creation and activities of the Hibakusha movement for nuclear weapons abolition and to secure government assistance. The book can be pre-ordered online. But you can get two blessings with one payment, by making a $100 contribution to the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security. It will help us to keep on keepin’ on. Donate at https://www.cpdcs.org/donate/
- The searing 17-minute movie “Hiroshima Nagasaki 1945” is comprised of film footage taken by Japanese photographers and locked away in a Pentagon vault for 20 years to prevent the Soviet Union from using it for propaganda purposes. It’s upsetting to watch, but like the video of George Floyd’s murder, it documents truths that we must know:
- A fact sheet that you can use for writing letters to the editor and op-eds can be found at https://www.afsc.org/document/remembering-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-fact-sheet
- You can sign and circulate the Hibakusha Signature Appeal at: https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/hibakusha-appeal
- On August 6 and 9 you can join Hiroshimanagasaki75.org’s US-wide, 8-hour virtual commemorations
- The video of an excellent recent 84-minute webinar featuring Sueichi Kido, Secretary General of the Japanese Confederation of A- & H- Bomb Organizations, historian Gar Alperovitz, and Poor People’s Campaign Co-Chair Rev. Liz Theoharis
- Video of a recent Massachusetts Peace Action webinar, “Fund Health Care Not Nuclear Warfare,” featuring Elaine Scarry of Harvard University, Bill Hartung of the Center for International Policy, Shally Gupta Barnes of the Poor People’s Campaign, and Joe Gerson himself.