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LET Recalling the plea from Hiroshima

Fifty-nine years ago, on Aug. 6 and then again on Aug. 9, 1945, nuclear bombs were dropped -- first on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki, Japan.

Four years later, in 1949, Shinzo Hamai, then mayor of the devastated city of Hiroshima, pleaded, "The people of Hiroshima ask nothing of the world except that we be allowed to offer ourselves as an exhibit for peace. We ask only that enough people know what happened here, and that they work hard to see that it never happens anywhere again."

In March 2004, Dr. Ron McCoy, president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize winner, stated in his organization's annual report that U.S. leadership on nuclear issues is "conspicuous by its absence, but more than that, the new nuclear policies of the Bush administration go beyond deterrence to include plans to develop a new generation of 'usable' nuclear weapons and to resume nuclear testing."

In an article "Back to the Future: new US0-Russia arms race" by Scott Peterson in the Christian Science Monitor on June 16, Ivan Safranchuk, head of the Moscow office of the Center for Defense Information, is quoted as saying, "Russia is thinking: Should it really oppose new U.S. weapons, or use them as an excuse to follow the same path?"

In the same article, Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent defense analyst in Moscow, continues, "This gives the bomb makers (in Russia) an opportunity to revive programs that were actively pursued in the 1980s. He says top Russian officials told him several years ago that plans had already been made to 'resume (nuclear) testing, as soon as the Americans give the go-ahead ... so that it will be their fault, not ours.'"

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Recalling the plea of the mayor of Hiroshima, Rochester citizens annually float peace lanterns on Silver Lake not only to remember, but also to consider actions that might be taken on these critical issues.

Judith; Hoffman

Rochester;

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