Participants Read Words of Hibakusha, Pacific Islanders, and Navajo Nuclear Victims
Three dozen people gathered on a cold and sunny day Jan. 22 to recognize the first anniversary of the passage of the UN’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or TPNW. Speakers read from the memoirs of hibakusha, or Japan survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as memoirs of Pacific Islanders living in the area where the U.S. tested nuclear weapons in the 1950s, and from Navajo victims of extensive uranium mining during the same time.
Mary Sprunger-Froese served as MC, and provided music along with Heidi Cooper and Amy Zimbelman. Bob Kinsey read an opinion piece he wrote on the UN Treaty. Sprunger-Froese reminded those at the vigil of the key role played by two of the Plowshares Nuns, Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte, who were instrumental in working with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN. ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Gilbert and Platte spoke in Colorado Springs in 2020, one week before the pandemic lockdown.
Similar vigils were held Saturday in Denver, and in dozens of cities throughout the world.