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Sity-three years ago this month the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. Thousands of people were killed instantly. Many more died later. The psychological effects of the detonation of those weapons on the human spirit still haunt the world today.
Over the years a handful of countries have acquired nuclear weapons. Many more nations and individuals are working secretly to acquire them in the future. The genie of mass destruction is set loose into the world.
While attempts to ban nuclear weapons through UN resolutions have failed because three countries including guess which country have refused to sign the resolution there is hope for a nuclear free world.
One woman who carried that banner of hope for a peaceful war-free earth was Dr. Randall Forsberg. She founded the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies and began the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign in the eighties. She was able to organize a grassroots movement. At its height in June 1982, the movement organized a demonstration in New York where more than 700,000 people attended.
Dr. Randall Forsberg educated Americans on the dangers of nuclear proliferation and attenpted to get the government to reduce the production of these deadly weapons.
"Many people will say this is hopeless, this is too much, this is too big, it's too hard," Forsberg told the Globe in an interview in 1984. "All I'm talking about is that people understand what's being done in their name, what they're going along with. That people look at their own feelings about the way the world works, about human nature, about warfare and look around them."
As the people of Japan remember this sad history, I find consolation in the power of an individual to make a difference. Randall Forsberg's life showed us what one individual can do. Randy died last October but her spirit lives on, encouraging each one of us to make a difference whereever we find ourselves.
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