Letters to the Editor: How to atone for detonating nuclear bombs on the Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands
At the Runit Dome, the U.S. entombed radioactive waste from nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands decades ago.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: We can never take it back -- 67 nuclear weapons tests, performed on the beautiful Marshall Islands by the U.S. government from 1946-58. Some of these tests were 1,000 times as powerful as the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

We can never take it back, not the cancers, not the birth defects, not the suffering, not the deadly radiation.

But we can learn. We can learn that the current U.S. plan to spend $1.7 trillion on its nuclear arsenal is flat out wrong. Imagine how far that money would go to making the world a better place -- providing food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, healthcare and education for all.


We can learn to speak out and tell our representatives in Washington to do what’s right. We can tell them to untangle the massive red tape so that the money intended to help the Marshall Islanders actually gets to the Marshall Islanders.

And in that way, we can take back just a tiny bit of the horrible harm our country inflicted on one of the most peaceful and pristine places in the world.

Sandy Jones, Santa Barbara

The writer is director of communications for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.