Commemoration and Nonviolent Civil Disobedience on the 66th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima
Photos by Rich Conti
Reflection by Theresa Camerota, one of the participants
Today our Brandywine Peace Community gathered, as we have for over 30 years, @ Lockheed Martin behind the KoP Mall to remember the victims of the world’s first nuclear disaster in 1945. Ten of us were arrested for crossing their sacred property line once again, while Tom Mullian and Bob Smith cordoned off the driveway with yellow crime scene tape.
66 years ago today the nuclear age began when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Three days later Nagasaki was bombed. 60% of the city was reduced to a flaming rubble. More than 100,00 people died, and continue to die, from the radiation poisoning. At the test site in New Mexico, just weeks prior to the bombing, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb, remembered the passage from the Hindu Scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Lockheed Martin, where war is made today, is the world’s largest weapons corporation and war profiteer. They are U.S.’s chief nuclear weapons and “Star Wars” contractor. Last October, Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, received a $106 million multi-year contract to build field support equipment for Mark12A/Minuteman III intercontinental nuclear missles. There are 22,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, 95% are in U.S. and Russian arsenals. The Pentagon budget this year will exceed $800 billion dollars, not including the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are now estimated to cost $2.4 trillion.
With annual weapons profits now totaling more than $43 billion, Lockheed Martin is making a killing. Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest weapons contractor, international arms supplier and war profiteer. Spending on war has always been the chief cause of U.S. national debt and is always paid for on the backs of the poor and working people. So many suffer, so very few profit. Thomas Merton stated it clearly, “Few are guilty, all are responsible.”
And so each time we return to the driveway I re-member quietly to myself Rev. Sloan Coffin’s words, “We don’t do this to change the world. We do it so the world does not change us.” For a short moment in the seemlngly endless cloud of the world’s problems, there arises an opportunity not to feel numb or overwhelmed. Never give up.
Thank you Bob Smith and Beth Centz for holding the line for so many years and giving us the Brandywine Peace Community.