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Web Letter

As a child of the ‘60s, I remember all too well the drills we practiced in elementary school to hide under our desks in the event of a nuclear attack. I remember the Cuban missile crisis and how afraid my parents and the other adults in my life were. As a young teenager I read Hiroshima and was shocked by it. My father was a captain in the Army and on his way to Japan to be part of the invasion force when the first bomb fell. When I asked him about the atomic bomb his answer echoed the prevailing notion of the day--that the bomb saved his life and the lives of millions of others.

I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like to be of my father’s generation and watch as your family members and friends went to war and never came home. I do not judge them for the decisions they made. But I agree that the secrecy surrounding the construction of the first atomic weapons indeed threatened the survival of our species and continues to do so today.

It is indeed important that we understand the history of nuclear weaponry in order to be able to intelligently participate in discussions about its future. And as much as I would like to believe otherwise, I am afraid that your efforts may fall on the deaf ears of a populace weaned on government secrecy and reality television. I applaud your effort and look forward to what light you may be able to shed on this in the future.

Robin Johnsen

Largo, FL

Aug 13 2009 - 1:25pm

Web Letter

You were fortunate in having a very good ninth grade teacher. You were also fortunate in having a parent whose work gave you additional insights into the workings of government and the assembly line process that made America the Arsenal of Democracy. Your father's moral journey through life is worthy of a book and or movie.

Unfortunately, we still have a "cultural lag" with regard to nuclear weapons, and I am not a big fan of unregulated nuclear power plants. It is impossible to uninvent something, or to force nations into rejecting nuclear weapons. There are good reasons for not having them. Education and negotiations are the best long-term answers to these problems.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Aug 11 2009 - 1:12pm

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