John C Benavente
P.O. Box 9375
My trip to Nagoya, Japan June 6-12, 2017 to participate in the annual peace march against the use of Atomic Bomb was an educational and cultural experience that is only possible by participating in the march and seeing the outstanding and determined efforts of the community to keep the movement in the forefront in Japan and the world.
Today we are witnessing very troubling news from North Korea, as they test their ballistic missile system with the intent of possibly placing the whole world in danger. They are determined to have the atomic bomb and the delivery system to strike anywhere and anytime.
We must marshal all the nations in the United Nations to push for the total ban against the use of atomic weapons.
In three days that I walk, the people of Aichi prefecture accorded me the highest of Japanese hospitality and kindness. My host Hideki Yokoe, Director General was always checking on my welfare during the march and provided translators in the three days that I walk. The support team kept us hydrated with well placed water points with snacks along the march route.
At the beginning of the day, during the lunch break and at end of day assembly, I will retell my story of surviving World Was II in Guam as a seven year old and how that affected my thinking of War and Peace. I was very happy to meet a total of four survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The youngest is seventy nine years old and the oldest is ninety three old. The two from Nagasaki are the youngest in 1945. I have visited the air base in Tinian in the northern Marianas where the B-29 bomber was station. I was in Hiroshima during the memorial service in August 6, 2016.
My visit to both Tinian and Hiroshima was a seminal moment of my awareness for the total ban of atomic weapons. I pray that no generation would ever suffer again the horrors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.