(Thought I’d send this one to the local paper before they decide not to accept them anymore. :–)
While researching a book about my mother’s untimely death of cancer, after exposure to nuclear radiation while working for the Manhattan Project in Washington, D.C. during World War II (Rain of Ruin, 2011), I learned a great deal about the horrendous suffering and death caused by America’s early atomic bombs. I was reminded that today’s nuclear weapons—many times more powerful—if let loose, would make the devastation from those first two blasts pale by comparison. Knowing that, and still mourning my mother’s death (essentially at the hands of her own nation), I am outraged to hear North Korea and the United States jousting over political differences with nuclear-tipped lances. Neither nation and neither leader has the right to sacrifice millions of lives so casually. I don’t care if North Korea’s leader was burnishing his image and President Trump was just feeling a little bellicose when they exchanged threats. To my way of thinking, neither has the right to dispose of one human life just to support their ill-considered provocations. We don’t have to wonder what would happen if they made good on those threats; we already know what these terrible weapons can do. My family, and thousands of others whose loved ones were exposed to nuclear radiation during tests to make these awful tools of war battle-ready, and, of course, the victims of the bombs dropped in 1945, have already sacrificed too much. I appeal to the leaders of our nation and all nations to walk away from a nuclear high noon that has the potential to harm millions of innocents the world over. I appeal to world leaders to pursue, through the United Nations, regional political affiliations, hell, Jared Kushner’s secret back-channels if necessary, agreements that would put an end to nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war forever.