Dozens of demonstrators collected outside California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on Aug. 9, 2017.
The facility is used for nuclear weapon research.
The very same August day 72 years ago, the U.S. fell an atom bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
The blast came just three days after the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.
The victims of the two attacks, which prompted the bloody and devastating aim of World War II, still live in the memories of the protesters in Livermore.
We are here to stand with the survivors of that nuclear assault, but we are also here to stop the next nuclear war before it starts, demonstrator Marylia Kelley told SF Gate.
More than seven decades have passed since the first employ of nuclear warfare forever changed our world.
The protesters’ message is simple: The horrific the effects of those weapons should never be forgotten.
Estimates vary, but it’s generally believed that at least 150,000 people in Hiroshima and 75,000 people in Nagasaki were killed in the blasts.
Those figures don’t count the thousands more who died of illness related to radiation exposure in the months and years that followed.
Beyond the cost of human life, the physical demolition of both cities was unprecedented.
About 92% of Hiroshima’s structures were either destroyed or damaged in the blast, according to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Bustling metropolitan areas became decimated wastelands.
The black-and-white photos may be relics, but their stories and the lessons we should learn from them are just as relevant as ever.
The 72 -year mark of the attack on Nagasaki comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
North Korea’s growing nuclear weapon program has triggered renewed anxieties among its neighbors and leaders in Washingtonthat the country poses a threat to its East Asian adversaries and potentially the U.S.
On Aug. 11, President Trump needlessly intensified tensions when he tweeted that the U.S. military is “locked and loaded” for battle against North Korea.
Military answers are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!
Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2017
The tweet came days after he alerted North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, that if the country continues building further menaces against the U.S ., “they will be met with fire and frenzy like the world has never seen.”
Trump’s provocative language did nothing to soothe tensions, of course. Kim speedily answered the president’s threat with a threat of his own: a missile attack on the U.S. territory of Guam.
The contentious situation dedicated protesters at the Livermore lab a renewed sense of importance to speak out boldly against the use of nuclear weapons.
Trumps statements are pushing us closer to the brink of a nuclear war, said demonstrator Scott Yundt. The protest at Livermore is an annual event that Yundt has been attending for 12 years. But this year, he told SF Gate, feels different.
Theres a palpable and particular dread we are all feeling today, ” Yundt noted. “Conflict with North Korea and the United States is possible.”
“I fret our president will press the nuclear button without the consent of the American people, ” Yundt said.
That’s a big reason why demonstrators took to the streets this week.
According to police, 48 demonstrators were arrested for trespassing during the course of its peaceful protest, Patch reported. They were issued citations and released.
The nervousness exhibited by demonstrators are ones shared by many Americans as a bombastic, short-tempered chairwoman results an administration with no unified strategy on smoothing an unbelievably complex situation with North Korea.
“Just thinking about it despairs me, ” said demonstrator Barbara Milazzo.
Still, Americans shouldn’t feel as though war is imminent.
The situation is a serious one, experts have near-unanimously concluded. But judging by a multitude of factors including the messaging coming out of North Korea and the country’s current capabilities we’re not on the brink of war( yet ).
It still helps, however, to remember those lost 72 years ago and let their memories inspire us to speak up for peace as loudly as we can.
This is the most we can do, Milazzo noted. We are utilizing our voices to protest.”
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