The weekend in which we commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only time nuclear weapons have ever been exploded in an act of war, is a memory now. The World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs has adjourned, and events honoring the memory of the victims of the bombings, remembering victims of nuclear weapons development and testing, and working for a nuclear weapons-free world are over.
This year, perhaps more than ever in recent years, I felt an urgency in our recalling the memories of our violent atomic past in order to prevent such a future. We hear constantly in the mainstream press of the concerns over North Korea, Iran and Pakistan. And yet the U.S. and Russia continue to maintain nuclear weapons ready to launch on warning. The U.S. continues to pursue modernization across the board at all of its nuclear weapons research and production facilities, and it is laying plans for new nuclear weapons delivery systems even as it modernizes the very weapons they would carry.
So we who work for nuclear abolition continue to resist - to lay our own plans for a world without fear, a world where people and nations live together in peace, a world without need for weapons capable of destroying the world itself. This past weekend the community of peacemakers at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington came together to continue our work.
This year, in addition to fellowship, nonviolence training, vigils and nonviolent direct action at the Trident nuclear submarine base next door we heard a clear message from Congressman Dennis Kucinich who spoke to us on Sunday: "that it is our responsibility to make war itself obsolete through direct action and through concrete steps that can take is in the direction of peace." Kucinich also set out concrete recommendations including cancelling plans for 12 new ballistic missile submarines that would operate through the year 2082.
Speaking of memories, here are slide shows of this past weekend's events at Ground Zero. I split the photos into 1) the daytime events on Sunday, 2) evening on Sunday, including Kucinich's speech, and 3) Monday morning's vigil and action. Enjoy!
Note: You can watch each slideshow full-screen. Just click on the image, and then click "Slideshow" at the top left.
Sunday, Part 1 - including vigil at Kitsap Mall
Sunday, Part 2 - Music and Dennis Kucinich
Monday - Vigil and Action at Bangor