Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager


This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Advocacy.

“Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.”

-Psalm 37:37

August marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

It is a somber time as we remember those we lost, as well as the infrastructure that was destroyed due to these nuclear attacks.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an organization that represents the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States, recently reflected on this anniversary, as well as the impact of nuclear weapons around the world. (1)

In this time of pandemic, people have come to realize more fully the deep interconnections and mutual dependence of life on Earth.

Many are beginning to rethink national security and question national priorities. Today, nine countries still possess nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons, enough to end all life on the planet many times over.

Just one year of US nuclear weapons spending is currently projected to be $49 billion, enough money to provide 300,000 ICU beds, 35,000 ventilators, and pay the salaries of 150,000 nurses and 75,000 doctors. Unlike the coronavirus, maintaining and expanding international nuclear arsenals, and the threats they pose to the world, are a choice nucleararmed countries make.

Nuclear weapons opponents claim it is time to refocus our national priorities on preventing and treating real threats, like COVID-19, not in creating new ones. While it is fitting to mourn the lives lost to COVID-19, this anniversary also invites people around the world to stand with the hibakusha, the survivors of the bombings in Japan, and other communities harmed by nuclear weapons.

To mark this 75th anniversary of the only use of nuclear weapons in war, a coalition of groups has formed to coordinate efforts to remember the victims of the bombings, and mobilize the public to take action. LCWR has signed the 75th Anniversary position statement and committed to stand with the hibakusha in their call for the elimination of nuclear weapons.” (1)

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