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Hiroshima survivor, anti nuclear weapons activists mark anniversary atomic bombings

Rally at Livermore Labs draws 200

A coalition of several local groups commemorated the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in 1945 with an event meant for reflection and a focus on the dangers of nuclear weapons.

Approximately 200 people attended a 7 a.m. rally and vigil at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Tuesday morning.

Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs, which helped organize the rally, said participants drew outlines of their bodies on the ground with chalk at four entrances to the facility to symbolize those who died in the bombings.

Lab spokeswoman Lynda Seaver said the Alameda County Sheriff's Office cited 31 people for blocking the facility's west entrance.

"It's important for the workers of Livermore Labs to know that there are people out there opposing what they do," said Tri-Valley CAREs Staff Attorney Scott Yundt. "The fact that nuns and priests are getting arrested out there makes them pause and think about what they do."

The event included remarks by the Rev. Nobu Hanaoka, a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing.

"I don't have a personal recollection of the bombing but I lived through the tragedy that followed," Hanaoka said.

He was only eight months old during the bombing, which killed his mother, brother and sister. His father returned to Nagasaki from World War II

when he was two years old and eventually moved the family to Tokyo.

"God spared my life for a reason, to make sure this won't happen again anywhere," he said.

Hanaoka is a retired minister who continues to spread the message against the development of nuclear weapons.

"I just hope the American public will recognize that nuclear weapons are still threatening our future. We don't talk about it as much as we used to but it doesn't mean that the nuclear threat is over," he said.

Yundt added that he had the unusual experience of hearing from a Livermore Lab employee during the protest.

"One bicycled up hoping to enter gate we were protesting at and he paused because he wanted to enter and could not. Then turned around and said ''this is certainly a sight to see,'" Yundt said. "He was clearly moved and slightly annoyed that he couldn't enter."

The United States dropped the "Little Boy" bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and three days later the "Fat Man" bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

Jessica Lipsky contributed to this article

Comments

Posted by Dirka_Dirka, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm

This is a bunch of "Pangloss" idealist idiots and not news worthy at all. The two bombs dropped were totally avoidable and the USA gave Japan the opportunity to surrender, twice! Japanese arrogance caused their people the pain of the only Nuclear war. Countless American lives were spared. There was only one reasonable choice and it was to drop the bombs. Nuclear weapons have done more to preserve the peace than just about any other effort in human history. This is an undisputed fact with educated Political Science and International Relations academics. Rock on Livermore Labs, keep up the good work! Ignore these morons! Sing Kumbaya, with the peace of mind that we have a powerful nuclear capability!


Posted by James von Halle, a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 12, 2013 at 7:46 am

My Dad was on Guam in 1945 poised to invade Japan. American loses would have been horific.
Both bombs saved countless American lives. Tank god for the Enola Gay!


Posted by Marylia Kelley, a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

First, kudos to the Express for covering this important annual event in the Tri-Valley. In response to prior comments, here are two academic sources (out of many that are readily available) that document the complex reasons behind the U.S. atomic bombings of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. It may be comfortable to wrap oneself the propaganda of that day, but there is no excuse for it today.

The first book listed below came to my attention when one of my siblings, a U.S. History major, had it as a textbook at Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay). The second reference is a well-known book by a Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, Department of Government and Politics. As noted, these books are but two of many that feature good scholarship and are as well researched as they are intellectually challenging.

1. James West Davidson and Mark Hamilton Lytle, "The Decision to Drop the Bomb" Ch. 12 from James West Davison and Mark Hamilton Lytle, After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1992), 275-302.
2. Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power.


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