Monday mark(ed) the 73rd Anniversary of the detonation of an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. This was followed 3 days later with an atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, Japan. This week many governments, church groups, and peace activists will hold memorial services to commemorate these horrific events. It is crucial that we remember what happened during those two days in August, 73 years ago.
One hundred and twenty-two nations of the world voted on July 7, 2017, to endorse the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. It is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. In a message to the members of the UN negotiating team Pope Francis wrote that “nuclear deterrence is ineffective against the principal threats in the twenty-first century, mentioning in particular terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity, environmental problems and poverty…
If we also take into account the risk of an accidental detonation as a result of an error of any kind, the threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned… International relations cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms. Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security. They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family… The total elimination of nuclear weapons is “both a challenge and a moral and humanitarian imperative” of our time.
Perhaps we might take a moment of silence this week, to implore our creator to give us the grace and courage, to work to lift this scourge from the world our children, and grandchildren are to inherit.