Thank you for being louder than The Bomb!

This year there was an overwhelming response to the ‘Louder than The Bomb’ campaign. Newspapers across the country published your letters commemorating Hiroshima day and calling for an end to nuclear weapons.

If we look at the daily circulation of the six largest newspapers where the letters were published, we reached almost half a million people with our message! (497 995 to be exact)

Below is a selection of the letters. Please let us know in the comments if your letter was published somewhere that we have not mentioned.

Thank you very much for your support!

Judith L. Bezeredi “Weapons must be destroyedThe Guardian (Charlottetown). 1 August 2012

Monday, Aug. 6 will be the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The lives of 80,000 mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers were taken away in a mini-second.

May be at that time there was a compelling argument in favor of committing this crime against humanity, but as long as we posses these armaments the devil will not sleep. We will always have a power-monger politician who, in the name of the “people,” will want to use these weapons against a new set of mothers, brothers, sisters and fathers.

Let us unite and demand the destruction of these weapons of mass destruction. Do we really hate each other that much, that we keep 23,300 of these bombs in 24/7 readiness?

No, not in my name, and I am the people.

Judith L. Bezeredi, Charlottetown

Joyce Neufeld “Letter to the Editor: Abolish nukesRegina Leader-Post. 7 August 2012

This month, we commemorate the 67th anniversary of the bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9).

These bombings had atrocious humanitarian consequences; we don’t want them repeated

The bombing of Hiroshima killed 80,000 people instantly, and the bombing of Nagasaki resulted in 40,000 instant deaths. Tens of thousands of others later died from radiation poisoning.

There are still 23,300 nuclear weapons in the world. NATO, of which Canada is a part, recently reaffirmed its commitment to the use of nuclear weapons.

I want to see a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons and I want Canada to play a role in solidifying this treaty. This must include the U.S. as well as Canada and other countries.

Joyce Neufeld, Waldeck

Jack Boan “Letter to the Editor: Scrap these weaponsRegina Leader-Post. 13 August 2012

I’m writing to support the Aug. 7 letter by Joyce Neufeld, in which she pleads for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Monday, Aug. 6, was the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, killing roughly 80,000 mostly innocent people, and severely burning many more who died from the radiation. Three days later, Nagasaki was hit – with comparable results.

When this happened, I was in the R.C.A.F. getting my shots in preparation for a posting to the Pacific theatre. But then, the war was over, and so, thankfully, was my military career.

I didn’t think much about the horror of that bombing at the time, but in retrospect, and with children and grandchildren to think about, there is no doubt; that kind of thing must never happen again.

It is imperative, therefore, that the stalled talks on reducing the number of nuclear weapons worldwide must be activated, with the complete abolition of such devilish weapons as the ultimate objective.

To an economist, war has got to be the stupidest thing there is, because no one wins, especially today, with civilians being the ones that often bear the brunt of it.

Why is this so difficult to understand? Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting a different result. The nations aren’t crazy, so why aren’t our leaders clamouring for arms reduction?

Public opinion got land mines abolished (in most civilized countries). Let’s put nuclear weapons on that list as soon as possible!

Jack Boan, Regina

Susan Brown “Abolish nuclear weaponsThe Ottawa Citizen. 3 August 2012

Sixty seven years ago, the Allies dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. More than 100,000 civilians died instantly. They were the lucky ones. Tens of thousands suffered radiations sickness and died, leaving orphans or parents to mourn.

My parents were among the scientists who worked to develop the bomb. They hoped the new technology would never again be used as a weapon, yet there are still more than 23,000 nuclear weapons of far greater power in the world today.

As a member of NATO, which is committed to the use of nuclear weapons, Canada should make it a priority to help bring about a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.

Now is the time to make the world a safer place.

Susan Brown, McDonalds Corners

Jaya Chauhan “We must ban nuclear armsEdmonton Journal. 1 August 2012

The 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is commemorated on Aug. 6 and 9, respectively.

The bombings had atrocious consequences. In an instant, 80,000 died in Hiroshima and 40,000 in Nagasaki. Tens of thousands of others later died from radiation poisoning.

There are still 23,300 nuclear weapons in the world. NATO, to which Canada belongs, recently reaffirmed its commitment to the use of nuclear weapons.

A treaty to abolish nuclear weapons is essential and Canada needs to play a role in achieving this goal.

Jaya Chauhan, Edmonton

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington “On Hiroshima-Nagasaki anniversary, let’s end the nuclear ageTimes-Colonist (Victoria). 3 August 2012

On the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we need to call an end to the nuclear experiment.

At 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing around 140,000 people. The death toll included men, women and children who died instantaneously, and thousands who died within months from the lingering radiation sickness. The U.S. attack on Nagasaki three days later took the lives of 75,000 more.

To these numbers should be added the plight of the Hibakusha: survivors of the nuclear bombings. The Hibakusha, who suffered lifelong diseases, including cancer, have been unwavering in their demand to ban nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Memorial Day is an occasion to ponder the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons, as well as the wisdom of all uses of nuclear energy — particularly given the specter cast by the meltdown of the reactors in Fukushima, Japan, last year.

As the mayor of Hiroshima said last August on the anniversary of the bombings, “Nuclear energy and humankind cannot co-exist.”

Every Aug. 6 in Hiroshima at 8:15 in the morning, a memorial protest is held. But such protests also take place in the United States.

One will occur this week at Los Alamos, N.M., home of the Manhattan Project, which produced the first atomic bomb and is still producing parts for nuclear weapons. Demonstrators plan to draw attention to the hazards not only of the weapons themselves but also of nuclear waste and of the involvement of private companies in the nuclear weapons system.

Reasonable-sounding arguments can be made to justify the original development of an atomic bomb (ensuring victory against fascism), and for the maintenance of a nuclear arsenal (lest the United States fall prey to a hostile country or group with its own nuclear weapons).

But the nuclear age is a suicidal age. We’ve had several near misses, the Cuban Missile Crisis being the most obvious. And we’ve almost had accidental nuclear war when our radar systems (and Russia’s) have thought they were seeing incoming nuclear weapons and have prepared to launch nuclear weapons in response. At some point, we won’t be able to avert the catastrophe.

Similarly, nuclear power plants may seem to provide part of the solution to our energy crisis. But Fukushima highlighted the dangers of accidents, and nuclear waste can never be truly safely stored.

On Monday, let us remember the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and let us finally get out from under the nuclear shadow.

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington is a writer for Progressive Media Project.

Richard Bitner “Horrors of nuclear bombings must never be repeatedVancouver Sun. 4 August 2012

As the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki approaches next week, I sit in the park with my wife as we watch our beautiful seven-year-old daughter Ava play.

I wonder about the families like ours who were sitting in the park on those fateful days, watching their children play and looking forward to their future, not aware that they were about to be vaporized along with the other 120,000 people who died instantly. Or maybe they got sick like the tens of thousands of others who died later from radiation poisoning, and watched their children suffer and die before dying themselves.

There are still over 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world and NATO recently reaffirmed its commitment to their use.

We need a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons, and I want Canada to play a leading role in solidifying this treaty.

All parties need to get behind this and I challenge all party leaders to show the courage and conviction that is needed to accomplish this.

I want my daughter to grow up in a world free of the threat of nuclear weapons and in a Canada that we can all be proud of.

Richard Bitner North Vancouver

Julie Dupuis “World still has 23,300 nuclear weaponsSudbury Northern Life. 1 August 2012

On Aug. 6 and 9, we will commemorate the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Everyone knows these bombings had atrocious humanitarian consequences.

The bombing of Hiroshima killed 80,000 people instantly, and the bombing of Nagasaki resulted in 40,000 instant deaths. Tens of thousands of others later died from radiation poisoning.

No one wants these atrocities repeated, but there are still 23,300 nuclear weapons in the world. In fact, shockingly, NATO — to which Canada belongs — recently reaffirmed its commitment to the use of nuclear weapons.

We need a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons and for Canada to play a role in solidifying this treaty.

Julie Dupuis, Greater Sudbury

Anne Morris “World Urgently Needs Nuclear Weapons TreatySalmon Arm Observer. 3 August 2012

On August 6th the world marks the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The bomb’s blast and fire destroyed over 88,000 buildings – stores, churches, hospitals, fire and police stations, schools, offices and blocks of flats. An estimated 140,000 were killed – 70,000 immediately and another 70,000 in the ensuing months from their wounds and from radiation poisoning. Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 75,000.

Today, 20,000 nuclear weapons are deployed globally; 3,000 are constantly on alert status, ready to be fired on 15 minutes notice, thus increasing the possibility of nuclear weapons use through accident, miscalculation, or madness.

During the Cold War, there were at least 16 nuclear crises when nuclear war was narrowly avoided. There have also been a great many accidents involving nuclear weapons that could have resulted in a nuclear weapons explosion.

The original five nuclear weapons countries — USA, Russia, Britain, France, and China — have now been joined by four more — India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea — thus compounding the threat that hangs over humankind and creation.

Concerned about this threat, 5,296 cities in 153 countries around the world, including Salmon Arm, have joined the World Conference of Mayors for Peace. The goal is the elimination of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. To achieve this, Mayors for Peace is calling for negotiations to begin now on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

In 1996, the International Court of Justice, an arm of the United Nations, stated that the five nuclear-armed countries that have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty have a legal obligation to begin and to conclude negotiations on an international treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. Public opinion polls in the nuclear-armed countries and their allies show strong majority support for such negotiations. A group of experts has drafted a model nuclear weapons treaty based on the treaty that de-legitimized and banned chemical weapons. It’s time nuclear weapons were de-legitimized and banned too.

Early this year, thousands of Canadians signed a petition to the House of Commons asking the Canadian Government to invite all states to gather in Canada to begin discussions on a global treaty to ban nuclear weapons. MP Colin Mayes presented the House with over a hundred signatures of Salmon Arm citizens.

The Government’s response is disappointing. Its view is that negotiations on a nuclear weapons treaty must await a universalized Non-Proliferation Treaty (i.e., all countries must renounce nuclear weapons), and fully in-force treaties banning the testing of nuclear weapons and the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

None of these conditions can be met while the USA, Russia, France, and the UK continue to modernize their nuclear weapons, thus sending strong signals that nuclear weapons are essential for their national security. Givens these signals, it’s hardly surprising that India and Pakistan want to hang on to their nuclear weapons too, while others, such as Iran, want to acquire them.

The solution is to begin negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban, thus signaling that the five original nuclear-armed countries are serious about implementing their treaty obligations to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Citizen action is urgently needed to press governments into action.

Canada’s Senator Emeritus Douglas Roche has said that every day that humankind accepts the existence of nuclear weapons brings the world one day closer to a nuclear weapons disaster.

Canadians can make their voices heard by signing the Mayors for Peace petition: https://www.ssl-hiroins.city.hiroshima.jp/pcf/en/form.htm, and by writing to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon. John Baird: John.Baird@parl.gc.ca

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