Reading Room

A future free of nuclear arms

May 26, 2016
San Francisco Chronicle - Letter to the editor by Marylia Kelley

On Friday, President Obama will visit Hiroshima and lay a wreath commemorating victims of the first atomic bomb used in war. U.S. media attention has been focused on whether Obama will issue an apology (he won’t). In Hiroshima, however, a different and more profound question emerges.

Sunao Tsuboi was a student when the A-bomb was dropped. He remained in a hospital, unconscious, for more than a month. He said recently, “We want to see progress towards the abolition of nuclear weapons before we die. I will repeat that demand until my heart stops beating.”

The Hibakusha (survivors) ask for action toward elimination of these weapons so that no one else will suffer as they have. “Never again” is their cry on behalf of all humanity. I have met with survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I urge Obama to spend time in their company, to look into their eyes and to hear their stories. And, to answer their question: What action will you take toward a future free of nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war?