“Hell is probably like what we went through. It must never be allowed to happen again.”
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Jiro Hamasumi’s mother was pregnant with him when the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killing tens of thousands instantly.
Today, at 74, Hamasumi is one of the remaining survivors of the attack pleading with world leaders to abolish nuclear arms.
“Hibakusha want the United States to apologize to us,” Hamasumi told Agence France-Press this week. “But the proof of the apology is nuclear abolition, we’re not after vengeance.”
For decades anti-nuclear activists have pointed to the destruction, devastation, and deadly consequences of the attacks as reason to rid the world of nuclear weapons. World leaders have continued to develop the technology, however, in spite of those pleas.
In 2019, Pope Francis, speaking at Hiroshima Peace Park, a memorial to the events located in Japan, called nuclear weapons “a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home.”
“How,” the pope asked, “can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?”
The youngest survivors of nuclear war are 75 years old. We don’t have much time left with them.
— Beatrice Fihn (@BeaFihn) August 4, 2020
President Donald Trump has instead forged ahead with plans for nuclear testing, even as Democratic lawmakers push for legislation that would prevent the Trump administration from restarting nuclear weapons testing.
But remaining survivors, whose numbers dwindle as they age, and activists continue their fight for a world free of nuclear weapons.
Justice means ensuring what happened 75 years ago to #Hiroshima & #Nagasaki never happens again. We’re #StillHere and we're still loud, thanks to #75YearsOf resilience from survivors. Join us for virtual events to commemorate the anniversary: https://t.co/b5hfoC9Evy pic.twitter.com/YOyioumckv
— Beyond the Bomb (@BeyondtheBomb) August 5, 2020
“I haven’t been to Hell,” Hiroshima survivor Teruko Ueno told BBC. “So I don’t know what it’s like, but Hell is probably like what we went through. It must never be allowed to happen again.”
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