Peace Train Submission for 2/12/2021
Crawling Toward the Light
Setsuko Thurlow was 13 years old when the U.S. suddenly dropped a nuclear bomb on her city of Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. As she regained consciousness in silence and darkness, she found herself pinned by her collapsed school building and could hear faint cries of classmates, “Mother, help me. God, help me.” She heard a man saying, “Don’t give up! Keep pushing! Keep crawling toward the light!” She was ultimately rescued, found her beloved city obliterated with 150,000 of its residents incinerated, vaporized, or carbonized including members of her own family and 351 of her schoolmates. She says that still to this day, radiation continues to kill survivors. She has spent her life trying to warn others of the atrocities perpetrated on Hiroshima.
Meanwhile, the International Campaign for the Abolishment of Nuclear Weapons, ICAN was slowly being born through immense international effort, starting in 2007 with the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the establishment of ICAN’s first office in Melbourne, Australia. ICAN was able eventually to also create an international office in Geneva. The organization ultimately created the “ Ban Treaty” or TPNW, the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, through working groups at the United Nations. It is now ratified by more than 50 countries. For years of activism and determination to alert the world’s peoples to the apocalyptic nature of these weapons, ICAN was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2017. It was accepted by Setsuko Thurlow and Executive Director Beatrice Fihn.
LeRoy Moore, one of the founders of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center in Boulder in 1983 after having organized an encirclement of Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, 8 miles south of Boulder, with five other people, has written the following note to Boulder’s City Council members about the responsibilities of all of us to “keep pushing towards the light!”
“On Tuesday, January 22, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force. We at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center urge the Boulder City Council to support this international Treaty and to call on other government entities in Colorado and across the United States to support the Treaty. It urges abolition of nuclear weapons worldwide. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II made the U.S. the only country on Planet Earth to use nuclear weapons against another country. Rather than making more nuclear weapons and threatening their use, all countries must agree together to abolish them. Planning to use such weapons is folly which would end the human race. In the face of violence we must choose nonviolence. Can’t we see, it’s either nonviolence or non-existence?”
A deep bow of gratitude to LeRoy, Setsuko, Beatrice and the thousands of fervent nuclear activists throughout the world. We will all keep pushing towards the light, by bringing the Ban Treaty to all government groups across the country and around the world. Together we can push towards the light of a world free of the scourge of nuclear weapons.