"War is the greatest threat to public health." - Gino Strada, Italian war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Hibakusha Comes to BCC

I spent Sunday evening at the International Day of Peace event at Bellevue Community College (BCC) in Bellevue, Washington. Besides being thoroughly entertained (and inspired) by environmental troubadour Dana Lyons (from "Circle The World" to "Cows With Guns"; check out Dana's Website), I had the opportunity to meet with the international group of students who are hosting a powerful photo exhibition showing the devastating effects of the nuclear bombs that devastated Hiroshima towards the end of WWII. I saw part of that exhibit on Sunday; it is riveting!

The complete exhibition will be on display on Tuesday, October 7th in conjunction with a lecture by Hideko Tamura Snider, a Hibakusha (survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima). Ms. Snider, the author of "One Sunny Day: A Child's Memories of Hiroshima", was only 10 years old when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. She lost her mother, cousin and many friends. Ms. Snider is the founder of the OSD (One Sunny Day) Initiatives, an educational organization that provides pathways to connect people for reconciliation and collective healing.

Ms. Snider's lecture is titled
"The Consequences of Nuclear Use and the Role of Hope: A Personal Testimony". A reception at 6:30 pm will be followed by the lecture at 7:00 at the BCC Student Union Building (Building C). Click here for a campus map and directions to BCC. This is a rare opportunity to not only see this unique photo exhibit, but also to hear a personal testimony from a Hibakusha, a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima. It will be a very special evening indeed.

At a time well beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall when the Superpowers should have disarmed and pursued worldwide nuclear disarmament, our government has set things back by selectively enforcing the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, pulling out of the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty (in force for 30 years until the U.S. unilaterally withdrew in 2002) and pursuing new nuclear weapons (Reliable Replacement Warhead) as well as new uses for them (“Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations”). Phew! We desparately need to become fully aware of the awful effects of these terrible weapons of mass destruction (so that we can become more effective messengers of nuclear disarmament), and this is just such an opportunity. Tell everyone you know in the Seattle area about this event; it is too important to miss.

If you can't aren't in the Seattle area or can't make it to BCC for the exhibition and lecture, you can see photos and learn about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembered Website. It also contains first-hand accounts from Hibakusha.



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