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Shadows Invade Green
by Allan Appel | Aug 6, 2013 1:55 pm
Posted to: Downtown
Since he was in college quite a few decades ago Paul Hodel has given of his time and effort to help rid the world of nuclear weapons.
On Tuesday at precisely 8:15 a.m. on the Green for the first time he gave his shadow.
Beneath a bright sun Hodel and a dozen other activists gathered solemnly by the flagpole to become part of the “Share Your Shadow” project organized by the Greater New Haven Peace Council.
The aim: To mark the precise moment 68 years ago that the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. By lending their shadows, activists were refusing to become a shadow and in the process calling for abolition of nuclear weapons and the redirection of those resources worldwide to human needs.
“We do all kinds of things to make a difference,” Hodel said as The Greater New Haven Peace Council Chairman Henry Lowendorf took Hodel’s picture.
The photos of Hodel and a dozen others who participated in the vigil are going to be mounted on this site. The project is an initiative of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
In years past Lowendorf said his group has chalked shadows on the ground and also ridden bicycles around the perimeter of New Haven that would mark the extent of the area of our town that would have been turned into smoldering rubble had the atomic bomb fallen on the Elm City instead of Hiroshima.
If the Green were ground zero, make that everything from Sherman Avenue to East Street in Fair Haven, from the Hill to Hillhouse High School, he said.
With the noise of the rushing fountains by the flagpole as a background, Susan Klein read the annual peace declaration written by Matsui Kazumi, the mayor of Hiroshima. Read that in full here.
Tuesday the council is screening a movie “Atomic Mom,” at 5:30 p.m. at the main branch of the library.
Then on Friday, another vigil is scheduled at the flagpole again, but this time at 11 a.m.
That’s the precise moment, Japan time, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
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I met Paul when I did my VISTA service with the Dept. of Corrections in 1979. You never know what will become a life’s work and the rare individual that will make the commitment. Your shadow is a gift, Paul.
As one who was in the pipeline , heading to the Pacific Theater where my cousin had been killed a few weeks earlier. when the bombs hit Nagasaki and Hiroshima, I support Truman’s decision to drop the A-bombs,
It is believed to have saved about one million American lives projected as being lost if invasion of Japan had been required
We were not the aggressors, just the targets of Japan which had attacked our nation .
I agree that banning nuclear weapons is a good goal, but still I see other nations like Iran developing them,,We must continue to be prepared so that we will not be the next victims of nuclear war.
It is naïve and dangerous to disarm unless all do, and that does not seem likely to happen,
Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower and other U.S. military leaders stated in 1945 that dropping the nuclear weapons was not necessary. The Japanese had already offered to surrender with only one condition - the emperor would not be deposed. Truman rejected Japan’s surrender as not being unconditional. After the bombs had exploded, Truman accepted that one condition. The one-condition surrender made necessary no invasion of Japan and no loss of more allied or Japanese lives. It made the dropping of the bombs totally unnecessary, a decision that had everything to do with creating the future cold war.
The intelligence agencies of Israel, the U.S., and the UN all state that Iran has no nuclear weapon and no nuclear weapon program. If the U.S. and Israeli governments, which are leading the attacks on Iran, want to ensure that Iran does not in future seek a nuke, then they should support a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. A UN conference to create such a zone was scheduled for last December. It was called for by the UN in 2010 and the U.S. and Israel both participated in the unanimous vote. But last November the U.S. unilaterally cancelled that conference. Why? Because such a conference would expose to the world that there are two countries that possess nuclear weapons in the Middle East: The U.S. and Israel. And they would have to remove them if a nuclear weapons free zone were actually created. Such a conference would expose the fact that the U.S.‘s attacks on Iran have nothing to do with nuclear weapons and everything to do with control of oil.