Town Square

Livermore gathering to commemorate Hiroshima Day

Original post made on Aug 1, 2013

Tri-Valley CARES members and supporters are gathering at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the gates of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for Hiroshima Day, 68 years after the U.S dropped the atomic bomb, to commemorate the event and work toward banning nuclear weapons. The rally will feature Daniel Ellsberg, who will deliver the keynote address. Ellsberg touched off a nationwide controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of U.S. government decision-making during the Vietnam War. An Okinawan band, Genyu Kai, and Daniel Sqickel and drummers will provide music. The event will include a procession to the Lab's West Gate, "where those who choose will peaceably risk arrest. Others will provide supportive witness," said the newsletter.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 1, 2013, 7:49 AM


Posted by citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:32 am

Will you gather to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day!?

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

citizen wrote: "Will you gather to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day!?"

I don't think that you grasp the distinction between the two events or the historical and moral significance of the bombing. The Pearl Harbor attack was an attack on military targets. There was no attempt to inflict civilian casualties. The targets were battleships, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft, and military facilities. That wasn't the case with Hiroshima. The main purpose of the attack was to inflict massive civilian casualties in order to undermine morale and the enemy's will to resist (sound like a familiar strategy to the thinking behind 9/11?).

This bombing as well as other bombings designed to create massive civilian casualties (e.g., the WWII Dresden fire-bombings) opened a new door in the history of warfare. No longer would civilians be considered morally off-limits from direct attacks. The world we live in today was shaped by events such as Hiroshima.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved more American lives than it caused Japanese deaths. In a war that you did not start, this would be morally and militarily defensible.

That being said, I agree that the world would be better off without nuclear weapons and that nuclear power should be made safer. Therefore, I support peaceful demonstrations to raise awareness about these issues.


Posted by dublinmike, a resident of Dublin
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

First of all, sorry to be long winded but much has to be said. From the research I have made (I exclude Wikipedia except when definitions or further explanation is required) over the years, one thing was clear. Millions of Japanese were called upon to defend the Home Island. Tens of thousands of women were called up for either suicide attacks or to fire "knee mortars." One author's research indicated approx. 40,000 were to be made available.

Gasoline on outlying islands were sent to the Home Island to use in the defense along other war materiel when it was recognized that the defense of other islands was a waste of time. Interviews with Japanese military and a Japanese prince were the sources of this information. The defense of Home Island has a fanatical charge to it.

BTW, while we saw the waste of human life on the defense of Okinawa as tragic, the Japanese military saw it differently. Their viewpoint was that a smaller group of Japanese citizens and second-class Okinawans that could hold off the Americans was inspirational, and hoped that the people of the Home Island would replicate their sacrifice. They were geared for millions of their own people dying.

So, while I think the dropping of the A-Bombs were tragic, I think that had I been alive then I would have agreed to drop them if it meant saving the lives of several hundred thousand Americans. Also, please keep in mind that Gen. George Marshall and Pres. Truman (as did many others) did not know the ramifications of the effect that radiation particles would have on people.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm

You can bring up all the information you want on the context in which the atomic bombings were carried out, but regardless of all that one simple fact remains: The atomic bombing was deliberately planned in order to maximize civilian casualties in Hiroshima - including men, women, grandmothers, little 6-year old girls, little boys, toddlers taking their very first steps, nursing babies, newborn infants, etc. . They weren't "collateral damage" - they were deliberately and cold-bloodly chosen as the main target of the attack. In contrast, the destruction of any military facilities in Hiroshima was collateral damage.

For all of you talking about the necessity of the atomic bombing and justifying the civilian deaths, I wonder if you would have the guts to look an old grandmother or 6-year old girl living in Hiroshima in the eye before strangling her or shooting her? If not, why not? Do you think that they are any more or less dead if they are killed by an atomic bomb?

Posted by dublinmike, a resident of Dublin
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

this is the reason why there cannot be a rational discussion. You let your emotions run in front of you. I shall ask two questions of you:

1) What would you have done to create a situation where the Empire of Japan would surrender with the minimal lost of Allies in a reasonable amount of time?

2) In the event that WWII drags out another 2-3 years, what would say to the fathers, mothers, grandparents, sons & daughters and wives when they could have had their sons & daughters back alive?

I would really like to hear your answer.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

dublinmike wrote: "this is the reason why there cannot be a rational discussion. You let your emotions run in front of you."

On the contrary, Mike, I think that ( as usual) I'm quite precise and logical in my arguments and that you're the one who is getting flustered because I'm bringing up unpleasant truths which you find it difficult to face. It is much easier to argue for the necessity of killing little children, women, and infants when it is done it by pushing a bomb release button at 30,000 feet than it is to do so face-to-face with your bare hands or a pistol, isn't it?

Your very questions reveal the problem with your thinking. Your questions are only concerned with the exigency of winning a war pure and simple. Nowhere do you acknowledge balancing the need to fight a war with any moral limits on actions. From a purely logical standpoint of winning a war, the Nazi reprisals against entire villages or the execution of prisoners by the Japanese Imperial Army could be logically justified. And yet we call them "war crimes". Why? Because we recognize that there are moral limits to actions even in wartime. By ignoring such such moral considerations and trying to justify the bombing of Hiroshima simply because it would lead it would lead to victory in a "reasonable amount of time", you display EXACTLY the same sort of thinking that many executed for war crimes did. Just like you, they, too, would think nothing of mowing down the lives of innocent women, children, and infants if it led to "victory".

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm


Why, then, are the Tokyo air raids not the focus of the demonstration? Shall we expand our range of examples to include Nanking, or are we limiting this demonstration to civilians killed in attacks during which atomic devices were used?