The United States’ dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago, which killed more than 220,000 Japanese civilians and caused more than 70,000 deaths from cancer and radiation-related illnesses, were immoral acts and the basest of man’s inhumanity to man.
President Harry Truman ordered the dropping of the bombs, even though he knew that Japan wanted to surrender in the war and that top U.S. generals opposed the use of nuclear weapons. Pope Francis, who visited Hiroshima in 2019, condemns the bombings as unspeakable horror and immoral.
During the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger secretly discussed dropping nuclear bombs on Vietnam. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Luther King Jr., in his speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” called for the immediate end to the war in Vietnam, and warned against the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons.
The United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has not been ratified by the United States. President Donald Trump dismantled the Iran Nuclear Disarmament Treaty which President Barack Obama negotiated with Iran.
Both Russia and the United States have withdrawn from their previous nuclear disarmament treaty. Both nations hold over 90% of the world’s ever-increasing stockpiles of nuclear weapons. We, the American people, must demand of our government nuclear disarmament.
Let us renew our belief in the sanctity and sacredness of human life. Let us work for peace in our world. The specter of humankind’s perishing through total nuclear annihilation must be addressed by all nations, while we still have time.