76 Years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki – a call in memory and hope

Hiroshima Nagasaki Week, Global Peace Wave 2021

by Jerald Ross and Joseph Gerson

This August marks the 76th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. Despite broad recognition today that these attacks created a humanitarian catastrophe, as would any future use of nuclear weapons, we now know that even a limited nuclear exchange would have disastrous consequences for the global environment and human survival. The world thus continues to stand at the precipice of Armageddon. Presidents Biden and Putin, representing the two nations whose arsenals contain the vast majority of these weapons, provided a modicum of hope in stating that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”, and agreed to pursue arms control negotiations.

Yet the United States and Russia today are locked in a new nuclear arms race, spending hundreds of billions of dollars to upgrade their genocidal and omnicidal nuclear warheads and delivery systems. The danger of nuclear war, triggered by an accident or miscalculation, remains as the two sides joust for influence in Ukraine or midst provocative military exercises along the Russian border and the Black and Baltic Seas. Similarly, the U.S. and China have precipitated a new and dangerous Cold War, with the Biden Administration encouraging Taiwanese independence forces contrary to the agreed One China policy, and with both powers engaged in provocative military actions in and around Taiwan, in the South China/West Philippine and East China Seas.

These arms races and provocations are occurring on the eve of the Biden Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which will determine U.S. nuclear War planning and preparations for years to come and at the very same time the that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)[1] has entered into force and is gaining additional support. Although the NPR marginalizes civil society inputs, popular demands and calls from Congress can influence administration debates over reducing (ultimately eliminating) the country’s reliance on nuclear weapons, adopting a No First Use policy[2], and halting the $1.2 trillion nuclear weapons upgrade, especially banning spending for first strike land-based “Money Pit” ICBM missiles.[3]

The TPNW, building from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty has entered into force after being negotiated by 122 and ratified by 54 nations. It outlaws and calls for the total elimination of all nuclear weapons. Citizens and leaders of our own country seem blithely unaware of the extreme contradiction between the existential urgency that led to the Treaty’s negotiation and our government’s suicidal reliance on the threat of inflicting nuclear annihilation as the foundation for U.S. global military domination. Our public support for the Treaty will encourage disarmament forces in Europe, Japan and elsewhere in the world to ratify the Treaty and add pressure to the nuclear powers to finally fulfill their NPT obligation to engaged in “good faith” negotiations for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

Mass Peace Action calls on people and organizations to initiate or join Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemorative events to build support for nuclear disarmament. Our events will be held in conjunction with global “Peace Wave 2021”[4] initiated by Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) in memory of the lives lost in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It renews the call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and urges all nations, including our own, to join the TPNW. For the United States, this means for vital steps need to be taken right now:

  • Bring to a halt the current expansion and “modernization” of US nuclear weapons, with a special focus on defunding the ICBM Money Pit Missile
  • Adopt “No First Use” doctrine, eliminate the president’s “sole authority” to initiate nuclear war, remove U.S. nuclear forces from “hair trigger” alert, and other risk reduction measures.
  • Negotiate with other nuclear armed nations a path to common security arrangements, with agreements related to Taiwan, the South China/West Philippine Sea, Ukraine, and the climate emergency given the highest priority.
  • Support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

There are many ways to recognize this solemn anniversary and support the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. In the past, we have floated lanterns on nearby waterways, gathered for songs and speeches, tolled the bells at our churches, convened book reads and efforts to learn about nuclear weapons, listened to testimonies by Hibakusha (atom bomb survivors), commented in the media, written to elected officials, protested outside weapons manufacturers, made art together, and more. Your initiative might be an individual effort, or one undertaken with loved ones, your faith community or civic organization. And whatever you plan, share what you are doing on social media. Check out our events from past years³ for ideas and resources.

Schedule your event to occur between August 2nd and August 9th.

Mass Peace Action will help publicize and promote participation in your events. Schedule your event using this form (ASAP, please!) with your basic information and we will post your event on our “Peace Wave 2021 Web Page” Then, SEND PICTURES! We will post those too.

This is a solemn and urgent moment, but it is one filled with the possibility of action to insure a future free of nuclear weapons.

  1. Rallies Across State Celebrate Nuclear Ban Treaty’s Entry into Force
  2. Back From the Brink: Renounce the Option of Using Nuclear Weapons First
  3. Stop the New Nuclear Weapons Money Pit Missile
  4. Gensuikyo “Peace Wave 2021”

Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Week in Massachusetts

August 2-9, 2021

Events Calendar

Peace Vigil commemorating 76th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki

Peace Vigil commemorating 76th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki

Tue Aug 3 3:30 pm EDT
Worcester
The weekly peace vigil of the community of SS. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker for August 3d, 2021 is devoted ...
Remembrance and Hope – the Journey from Hiroshima to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

Remembrance and Hope – the Journey from Hiroshima to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

Wed Aug 4 7:00 pm EDT
Join us as we ground the myths and realities of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the nuclear age; the legacy of survivors; ...
Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony Part 1

Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony Part 1

Thu Aug 5 7:15 pm EDT
Jamaica Plain
Actors Refuge Repertory Theatre presents the 5th annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony on Thursday, August 5 from 7:00-8:15PM.  Join us ...
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Anniversary Vigil

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Anniversary Vigil

Fri Aug 6 7:45 am EDT
Waltham Common
Waltham Concerned Citizens will sponsor a vigil to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on ...
Hiroshima museum watch

Street Theater of Atomic Bombings @ Providence Kennedy Plaza

Fri Aug 6 8:00 am EDT
Providence
| "Hiroshima museum watch 2009 07 19" by Zigomar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons | A street theater presentation ...
A zillion origami cranes for peace

Hiroshima Vigil and Tolling of the Bell, First Parish Church

Fri Aug 6 8:00 am EDT
Bedford
| "A zillion origami cranes for peace" by Lisa Norwood is licensed under CC BY 2.0 | We will gather ...
Hiroshima Vigil

Hiroshima Vigil

Fri Aug 6 8:00 am EDT
Pittsfield
Join Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice for a one-hour vigil with signs and five minutes of silence at 8:15am ...
Hiroshima Day Vigil

Hiroshima Day Vigil

Fri Aug 6 8:00 am EDT
Edgartown
Share in a rededication to the craft of peace in songs, words, and silence as each of us takes a ...
Hiroshima Day Commemoration at Bicentennial Park

Hiroshima Day Commemoration at Bicentennial Park

Fri Aug 6 12:00 pm EDT
Fall River
Join Our Revolution Greater Fall River at Bicentennial Park to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima ...
"ABOLISH NUKES" Hiroshima Day Advocacy Event

“ABOLISH NUKES” Hiroshima Day Advocacy Event

Fri Aug 6 4:00 pm EDT
Cambridge
On Friday, August 6th, at 4:00 pm, Friends Meeting at Cambridge and fellow activists will gather around the Harvard Square ...
76th Anniversary Remembrance of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings

76th Anniversary Remembrance of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings

Fri Aug 6 4:00 pm EDT
Springfield
Friday August 6th at 4PM Court Square Corner of Main Street and Court Street, Springfield, MA  Co-sponsored by: Greater Springfield ...
Rhode Island Antiwar Committee Hiroshima Nagasaki vigil

Rhode Island Antiwar Committee Hiroshima Nagasaki vigil

Fri Aug 6 5:00 pm EDT
Providence
| Photograph from RIAC Facebook page | The monthly Rhode Island Antiwar Committee vigil in front of the Federal Building ...
"Floating Wishes August 24, 2017" by James_Seattle is licensed under Creative Commons BY 2.0

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration

Fri Aug 6 6:00 pm EDT
Cambridge
Join us on August 6, at 6PM for a community reading of Thomas Merton's "Original Child Bomb", followed by a ...
Hiroshima Day: Barry Frechette's film, Paper Lanterns

Hiroshima Day: Barry Frechette’s film, Paper Lanterns

Fri Aug 6 6:00 pm EDT
Dorchester
Join us on Hiroshima Day, August 6th at 6PM  Join us at 6PM for picnicking and family activities which will ...
Hiroshima Day Screening: The War Game by Peter Watkins @ Arlington's Regent Theater

Hiroshima Day Screening: The War Game by Peter Watkins @ Arlington’s Regent Theater

Fri Aug 6 6:00 pm EDT
Arlington
Friday August 6th The Regent Theater, 7 Medford St, Arlington, MA 02474 Doors @ 6pm, Film Screening @ 7pm $10 ...
Never Again: Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Never Again: Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Fri Aug 6 6:30 pm EDT
Easthampton
Join the Resistance Center for Peace & Justice and the Nuclear and Carbon Free Future Coalition for a peace walk, ...
Vigil for Hiroshima

Vigil for Hiroshima

Fri Aug 6 7:00 pm EDT
Andover
Join Merrimack Valley People for Peace for a vigil with signs and flags for Hiroshima on August 6, at 7PM ...
Walpole Peace Wave - Standing for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Walpole Peace Wave – Standing for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Sat Aug 7 10:00 am EDT
Walpole
On Saturday , August 7, 2021 at 10:00 am, the Walpole Peace and Justice Group will join with people all ...
Hiroshima 76th Anniversary Commemoration

Hiroshima 76th Anniversary Commemoration

Sat Aug 7 12:00 pm EDT
Jamestown
Come for a minute or an hour to express your opposition to nuclear weapons, including by asking the US government ...
Re-broadcast of Hiroshima 75th Anniversary Service with Live Update

Re-broadcast of Hiroshima 75th Anniversary Service with Live Update

Sun Aug 8 10:00 am EDT
A re-broadcast of First Parish 2020 Service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bombings, followed by a live ...
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki 2021

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki 2021

Sun Aug 8 7:30 pm EDT
Watertown
Schedule 7:30 PM – Silent Vigil – Watertown Square 8:00 PM – Music and Testimonials 8:30 PM – Launching of ...
Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony Part 2

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony Part 2

Sun Aug 8 9:00 pm EDT
Actors Refuge Repertory Theatre presents the 5th annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial Part 2 on Sunday, August 8 at 9:00PM. The ...
Newton Commemoration of 76th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki

Newton Commemoration of 76th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki

Mon Aug 9 5:00 pm EDT
Newton Center
Please join Newton Dialogs on Peace and War for a commemoration featuring speakers, drumming and songs, and a candle light ...
A-Bomb Dome | NHPA

Special Program in Remembrance of the Bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima

Mon Aug 9 7:00 pm EDT
| "A-Bomb Dome" by Imahinasyon Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0 | New Hampshire Peace Action will host Alicia ...