By Ann Suellentrop

Here are excerpts from Ann Suellentrop’s talk during the online Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance Aug. 9. 

Today, as we honor the hundreds of thousands who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, perhaps we can ask their spirits to help us in putting an end to nuclear weapons.

Since 1945, thousands and thousands more people all over the world have died and have been made ill by deadly radiation from nuclear weapons production, such as at Kansas City’s plant. Thousands and thousands more have died from the toxic radiation from worldwide nuclear bomb tests in space, in the air, in the oceans, on the ground and deep underground. The Doomsday Clock is now 100 seconds to midnight, which is the symbol of human-made catastrophe. It is closer than it has ever been, due to the new nuclear arms race and the threat of global climate destruction.

What can we “regular people” do to stop this madness? WE must become the leaders and demand that our representatives pass the “Back from the Brink Resolution,” at www.preventnuclearwar.org. It has already been passed by 43 U.S. cities. (The website lets us sign our support as individuals or groups.) In summary, the resolution reads:

We call on the United States to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:

  1. Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;
  2. Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any US president to launch a nuclear attack;
  3. Taking US nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert;
  4. Cancelling the plan to replace its entire nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons; and
  5. Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

 —Ann Suellentrop, who serves on the PeaceWorks-KC Board, also coordinates the KC-area Physicians for Social Responsibility.