by Bruce Wallace, , 121Contact
We attended the Wisdom of the Survivor conference today at Pace University in New York City.
It was a shared activity. Over 100 Hibakusha (survivors of the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) are here to once again lobby the U.N. to finally ban all atomic weapons…to make it illegal to possess them! What a simple idea. How graceful in the face of almost unimaginable horrors.
Some of the Hibakusha met today with some of the 9/11 community. All survivors; all carrying wisdom gained from pain.
And our own failure, the American failure, was once again brought to light. We are not talking about military failure nor political failure. The loss here is even greater than that. How could we not learn from the carnage? How could we not develop a compassionate sense from the damage we inflicted? How could the American people agree to deliver such pain and devastation to the innocent civilians of Iraq after knowing about the pain we have delivered in the past?
Our actions in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan, are proof of America’s failure to understand, emotionally as well as intellectually, the consequences of choosing violence to solve our problems.
But we peacemakers do not give up. A few of the Hibakusha are in their 80’s now. Many have died. Over 250 are still active in the peace movement, striving to let the world see the truth and working hard to ban atomic weapons.
We will not give up. We will teach our children the true cost of taking violent paths. We will teach our children the non-violent alternatives to resolving problems. And we will teach our children the truth about the consequences to innocent civilians…the consequences of our actions.
And we will build the community of compassion and morality that our children deserve. Inshallah.