Oregon PSR's Peace Program coordinates the annual memorial event in Portland to mark the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We work with our community partners to remember the victims of nuclear weapons, to educate the public regarding the dangers of nuclear weapons today, and to involve our local community in the nuclear weapons abolition movement.
On August 6th and 9th of 1945, the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 200,000 civilians were killed in these attacks, and countless survivors suffer from the effects of the bombings to this day. Plutonium for the weapon dropped on Nagasaki was developed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington, only a few hours from Portland on the Columbia River. Decades later, studies of survivors and their offspring reveal conclusive DNA genetic changes and malformations.
Nuclear weapons are weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction, and they represent a morally unacceptable technology akin to chemical and biological weapons. The entire nuclear weapons production process, from mining to testing to use to storage, has historically disproportionately impacted communities of color, indigenous communities, women, and children. Today, the US nuclear stockpile contains more than 2,400 megatons of destructive capability, the equivalent to 159,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs.
Oregon PSR urges the United States' government to take the lead in world peace efforts, to dramatically reduce our nuclear weapons stockpile in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970, and to join the global community in efforts to abolish nuclear weapons worldwide.
The tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not only Japan's, but the world's. In much the same way as technologies such as chemical and biological weapons are prohibited under international law, so, too, should nuclear weapons be. It is the responsibility of all nations to prevent another nuclear disaster, and we encourage our own nation to take the lead in these efforts.