This August, 75 years will have passed since the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Around the world we mark these anniversaries each year — remembering the lives lost and altered forever on August 6 and 9, 1945, raising awareness about the many dangers and horrific violence of nuclear weapons and war, and denouncing the unjust systems of which they are a foundational part. We lift our voices with the demand of the hibakusha, who are survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis! No More War!
In years past, we have floated lanterns on nearby rivers, gathered for songs and speeches, listened to testimonies by hibakusha, taken initiative in the media, written letters to elected officials, protested outside weapons manufacturers; we have danced, prayed, and made art together — all to honor the precious lives taken by state violence when those in power act with contempt and disregard for life.
As the brutal violence of militarized policing and the underfunding of social services are exposed and confronted anew, the U.S. nuclear arsenal (essentially the same size as Russia’s) is maintained in our names at 1,365 strategic deployed warheads (costing just under $50 billion each year). Today, surviving hibakusha, most of whom were young children when the A-bombs were dropped, still remember those scenes of Hell on Earth, and have dedicated their lives to the abolition of these genocidal weapons of mass destruction.
We ask you to join us as we re-energize the call for peace and disarmament, as intimately connected with struggles against systems of domination. As we commemorate, we seek to work together to create a just society, free from racism, state violence, poverty, and the destruction of lives, communities, and Mother Earth.
While we lament that COVID-19 will prevent many of us from safely gathering in large numbers in physical proximity on the 75th anniversary of the A-bombings this summer, we invite you to join a global Peace Wave — of rituals, artistic contributions, educational programs, symbolic actions, and more — between August 6 and 9, 2020. Your initiative might be an individual effort, or one shared with loved ones, or you might create a meaningful commemoration within a group of which you are a part — a facebook group, a professional association, workout buddies, a faith organization, or a local community. As so many millions of people are raising up calls for a better world, we welcome your unique and inspired participation in helping to bring the memory and legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to our collective awareness this summer.
Below are a number of ideas for commemorating and building on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bombings. We of course encourage creative initiatives, and will share and magnify local and selected national actions on a calendar and list of events on Massachusetts Peace Action’s website. Use this form to tell us about your event.
- Organize or participate in a local – social distancing – vigil or lantern float ceremony
- Write letters to editors and op-ed’s focusing on the 75th anniversary, particularly relating to current events and urging action for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Encourage churches to ring their bells at 8:15am August 6 and 11:02am August 9, and urge faith communities to devote a service the weekend of August 6-9 to the issue of nuclear weapons and abolition
- Sing a song for peace and post it, or share a picture of something you love that would be destroyed by a nuclear blast
- Collect signatures in support of the Hibakusha Appeal
- Organize a car caravan (as MAPA did) with signs
- View and reflect on relevant films
Physicians for Social Responsibility recently hosted a one-hour webinar to discuss all the resources available to you including a digital toolkit, the launch of the unbranded 75th anniversary website, and how you can register any local commemoration activities to be part of a multi-hour, nation-wide live stream. Watch video of that presentation here.
#StillHere, 75 years of shared nuclear legacy, is a project that will present a nationwide/worldwide livestream on August 6 and 9, showcasing a variety of presenters and events reflecting a shared commitment to abolish nuclear weapons. Check out the website and submit your project to be included.
Please send information (flyers, links, photos, published text, etc.) about your commemorative actions to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share and magnify these efforts. We also encourage you to share on social media and online platforms (check back soon for suggested hashtags!). We also ask that you please sign and share the Hibakusha Appeal, an international petition to abolish nuclear weapons that will be delivered to the U.N. when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference reconvenes in NYC.
This call is co-sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action; the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security; Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility; American Friends Service Committee; Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment; and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom / Boston Branch. We thank you so much for your consideration and participation, for doing what you can to grow the work of peace and justice, and for sharing this call for action with your friends and affiliated or partner groups.