Reading Room

for more information, contact:
Robert Schwartz, Staff Attorney, Tri-Valley CAREs, (925) 443-7148

For immediate release: August 6, 2008

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Commemoration at Livermore Lab to Feature Giant "Nuclear Maze" and Survivor of U.S. Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki, Japan

  • What: Event titled, "Looking Back - Remembering the Victims of Nuclear Weapons: Looking Forward - Toward a Nuclear Free Future"
  • Date/Time: August 9, 2008 at 10:30 AM; moment of silence to commemorate Nagasaki bomb dropping at 11:02 AM; Keynote Speaker and Music at 11:05 AM
  • Where: Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, corner of Vasco Road & Patterson Pass Road.

Livermore, CA - Saturday August 9th, on the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, peace, environmental, and social justice activists will gather at the Livermore Lab to commemorate the victims of nuclear weapons and war, and to advocate a future free of nuclear weapons.

At 10:30 AM, participants will be invited to traverse the "nuclear maze." The maze is a massive wood and cloth structure created to teach about the impact of nuclear weapons and power on local and international communities. The walls will become teaching tools with photos and text on uranium mining, enrichment, nuclear waste, and bomb development, testing, production and use.

After observing a moment of silence for the victims of the U.S. atomic bombings at 11:02 AM, the program will begin with an address from Cara Bautista, Deputy Political Director at Peace Action West, one of the seventeen groups cosponsoring the event.

Reverend Nobuaki Hanaoka, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, and retired United Methodist minister, will deliver the keynote address. Reverend Hanaoka was seven and a half months old when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, instantly killing tens of thousands of people. His family was spared the blast and force of the fireball, but they were exposed to high levels of radiation. Hanaoka's mother, sister and brother died from exposure to the radiation. Reverend Hanaoka recalls, "The only memory I have of my mother and my sister was that they were always sick in bed. When I was six, my mother finally died. My sister followed her soon afterwards. A few years later, my brother also died. Because of my young age, I was supposed to be the most vulnerable one in the family, but my life has been spared..."

"It is particularly important for us to commemorate the victims of nuclear weapons and war here at the gates of Livermore Lab," commented Marylia Kelley, longtime Livermore resident and Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs.

Kelley explained, "We are here on August 9th because Livermore Lab has been chosen to develop the United States' next new nuclear bomb, the so-called 'Reliable Replacement Warhead.' We are here because Livermore Lab is home to more than a thousand pounds of plutonium, which makes us all vulnerable to a catastrophic release. And we are here to show the government and the public that there is another future possible, one based on global nuclear disarmament. We say 'never again' to the use of nuclear weapons."

Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, stated, "It's high time for the United States to acknowledge the unspeakable atrocities it committed 63 years ago when it detonated the first atomic weapons over civilian populations in Japan, and apologize to the people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the world for initiating the age of nuclear terror."

Cabasso noted an historical precedent for an apology. "The U.S. House of Representatives has acknowledged the 'fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow' and issued an apology to African Americans on behalf of the people of the United States," she explained. Yet, instead of apologizing to the people of Japan, "the U.S. continues to rely on the threatened first use of nuclear weapons as the cornerstone of its national security policy," said Cabasso.

The August 9, 2008 commemoration at Livermore Lab is part of the U.S. "Nuclear Free Future" month, declared by United for Peace and Justice as a special month of awareness and activism to stop nuclear madness. "Nuclear Free Future" month includes numerous activities around the San Francisco Bay Area and the country. A growing list of events and other resources is available to the media and the public at

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To set up advance interviews with event organizers or speakers, contact Tri-Valley CAREs at (925) 443-7148 or Western States Legal Foundation at (510) 306-0119. For a list of cosponsoring organizations, see the August 9 flier at On August 9, between 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM, photo opportunities include the giant "nuclear maze," event participants, keynote speaker Reverend Nobuaki Hanaoka, other speakers, event organizers, and musician Kaylah Marin.

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