Nucular Meeting Friends

Dr. Dat Duthinh, a member of Prevent Nuclear War Frederick, stands under a “ribbon” of individual panels meant to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The event was held at Saturday morning ar Frederick Friends Meeting on North Market Street.

On Saturday morning, hand-painted panels of fabric were strung on the porch of the Frederick Friends Meeting on North Market Street, bearing the title: “What I cannot bear to think of as lost forever to nuclear war.” The panels depicted people, children, animals and nature in a variety of styles and mediums.

The “ribbon” of individual panels is meant to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the anniversary is next week, the Frederick Friends Meeting wanted to hold their own event so they some members can attend events in Washington, D.C., next week.

The project emulates the original efforts of The Ribbon International, which created a 14-mile long string of individual panels throughout Washington, D.C., to oppose nuclear warfare in 1985. Andrea Norouzi had the idea for doing the project locally after receiving an email from another peace group, which was planning on replicating the ribbon in New York City.

The coronavirus pandemic put dampers on many of the larger plans, although there will still be a candlelight vigil in D.C. among a few other socially distanced events. Norouzi created her panel in January so she could show the Friends at a Martin Luther King, Jr. dinner and invite them to participate as well.

Her panel reads “all creatures great and small,” and depicts a tree of life, elephants, doves, songbirds, giraffes and a house with the words “one family above it.

Each animal she used is the favorite animal of one of her sisters, while she represented herself through the songbird. Norouzi wanted to depict sisterhood and family, which are important to her. She created the panel with the help of her daughter and grandddaughter.

“It just was such a wonderful experience,” she said. “We sang, we danced, we laughed, we created together. There’s nothing better than that.”

In addition to discussing the meanings behind the ribbons, Dr. Dat Duthinh shared information about the current state of nuclear warfare and militarization. The United States currently spends more on its military than the next 11 countries combined. Of the nine countries that have atomic weapons, the U.S. spends the most by a wide margin.

He also discussed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which he said were opposed by seven out of the eight major generals at the time. They figured Japan was well on its way to surrendering.

“Not only were these events tragic, but they were unnecessary,” Duthinh said.

James Wagner said the increasing concern about nuclear warfare has left him and other members of groups like Prevent Nuclear War Frederick worried.

“What our local groups ... are concerned about is the fact that a major treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty collapsed last August,” Wagner said. “And the Bureau of the Atomic Sciences has moved the doomsday clock to 100 seconds before midnight.”

The doomsday clock has sat at two minutes for the last thirty or so years, so a 20 second decrease is quite significant.

The service on Saturday morning also connected with Morningside Monthly Meeting and New York Quarterly Meeting in New York through Zoom to share some of their panels. They also observed a 214-second moment of silence to commemorate the 214,000 lives that were lost due to the bombings.

James Holmes also read a letter of support from Jessica Fitzwater of the Frederick County Council voicing her support for the five tenants of the “Back from the Brink” plan, which are ideas to help decrease the risk of nuclear warfare. One such tenant is taking away presidential power to launch a nuclear attack.

The Friends, who belong to the peaceful Quaker religion, hope to bring awareness to the Back rom the Brink plan and have the local government add their name to the list of supporters.

“It doesn’t matter how man nuclear weapons there are because one is too many,” Norouzi said. “... Because it represents hate it represents destruction. It is opposed to all life.”

Follow Erika Riley on Twitter: @ej_riley

(39) comments


I wonder what version of history the kids in high school and college are being taught?



I am so sorry that this discussion has focused on whether or not those bombs should have been dropped. The event in the article was not about that, but rather about the ongoing current danger of our nuclear arsenal. And yes, the nuclear arsenals of other nations. About the particular and horrific nature of what nuclear weapons do to both humans and the environment that is unlike any other weapon. This event mourned the suffering from 75 years ago and spoke to efforts for and the need to pull back from the nuclear brink right here and now.


If you wanted to focus on nuclear weapons you shouldn't have brought up Japan and dropping the bomb on them, they got what they deserved!


It’s clearly a sensitive subject. What’s done is done. Righteous or not. But there are no other examples of the devastating effects nuclear weapons have on people in war.

What the article says , “What our local groups ... are concerned about is the fact that a major treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty collapsed last August,” Wagner said. “And the Bureau of the Atomic Sciences has moved the doomsday clock to 100 seconds before midnight.” I look at it this way, I’m glad we develop the bomb first before the Germans.




Let's not forget that the Japanese were also warned about the bombs before they were dropped.


Good point husky, I'd forgotten about that fact.


American World War II Deaths 418,000

Japanese War Deaths between 2,600,000 - 3,100,000

216,000 deaths from 2 bombs, most of whom were civilians, nonbelligerents.

Just sayin’ 🤷‍♂️


Sorry the formatting did not carry over, but this is a chilling list of the military and civilians deaths across the world. Not too surprising the small number of US civilians as very few battles were fought where American civilians were in any large number. Same thing with Japan as most battles were fought away from the home Islands other than the bombs and later Tokyo. Then there were places like Korea, Latvia which had no military deaths, but many civilians. China lost around 5 times the number of civilians as opposed to their military.


Country Military Deaths Total Civilian and Military Deaths

Albania 30,000 30,200

Australia 39,800 40,500

Austria 261,000 384,700

Belgium 12,100 86,100

Brazil 1,000 2,000

Bulgaria 22,000 25,000

Canada 45,400 45,400

China 3-4,000,000 20,000,000

Czechoslovakia 25,000 345,000

Denmark 2,100 3,200

Dutch East Indies -- 3-4,000,000

Estonia -- 51,000

Ethiopia 5,000 100,000

Finland 95,000 97,000

France 217,600 567,600

French Indochina -- 1-1,500,000

Germany 5,533,000 6,600,000-8,800,000

Greece 20,000-35,000 300,000-800,000

Hungary 300,000 580,000

India 87,000 1,500,000-2,500,000

Italy 301,400 457,000

Japan 2,120,000 2,600,000-3,100,000

Korea -- 378,000-473,000

Latvia -- 227,000

Lithuania -- 353,000

Luxembourg -- 2,000

Malaya -- 100,000

Netherlands 17,000 301,000

New Zealand 11,900 11,900

Norway 3,000 9,500

Papua New Guinea -- 15,000

Philippines 57,000 500,000-1,000,000

Poland 240,000 5,600,000

Romania 300,000 833,000

Singapore -- 50,000

South Africa 11,900 11,900

Soviet Union 8,800,000-10,700,000 24,000,000

United Kingdom 383,600 450,700

United States 416,800 418,500

Yugoslavia 446,000 1,000,000


There were more Japanese fatalities of military and civilian in Okinawa, Nagasaki and Hiroshima then all the American casualties fighting on two different fronts (Europe and Pacifc). There were far more American fatalities in the European front than in the Pacific front. 10 to 1.


Near the end of the war, Japan tried to retaliate for the mass bombing by the U.S., the indiscriminate bombing of their country. They launched high-altitude explosive balloons crossing the pacific. Other then setting some fires, it claimed one victim, in an Oregon church group, the minister’s wife picnicking with children. One ballon did make it as far as Minnesota setting fire to a house.

Comment deleted.

Yep, war is a “nasty” business. The use of nuclear weapons places war on steroids. Since then, it has never been used in global altercations. MacArthur wanted to use it in the Korean War but was shut down by Truman. Ironically, Harry Truman is the only president to ever give the order to use the atom bomb.

My point wasn’t to place blame but to point out the horrific casualties caused by war and the weapons used. For example: The Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, that included 68 civilians with conventional warfare the balance being military service personnel.

Were as our payback was “off the charts“, 2 atom bombs, killed 216,000 humans, majority were just plain folk. That was more then half the number of American fatalities fighting in two fronts (Europe and the Pacific).

We like to celebrate wars, especially ones we win. Just sayin’ there were losses on both sides, most often the loses of the loser goes without memorialization. You know, like pulling down confederate statues. Most regard the enemy, understandably so as villains: They lost, they were bad People, they caused the war, there cause was immoral, so get over it. I get it.

But I would hope, at some point we would recognize the loss of life and humanity over feeble causes isn’t celebratory. But should be remembered, commemorated but not celebrated.


Are you saying that fighting to prevent the Axis powers from dominating the entire world was a " feeble cause?"


Can you read?


No, aw, I can't read. Now, can you answer a simple question? What then did you mean by "But I would hope, at some point we would recognize the loss of life and humanity over feeble causes isn’t celebratory?"

Comment deleted.

KR999,You forgot to mention the Serbs, Roma and the Jews.

I’m not arguing who committed the most atrocious acts.

I think you miss the point with your “so what“. That’s the Friends Meeting’ point. Not casting blame on one but callIng on all to be responsible, humane. It shouldn’t be a “so what” but, yes “what” we do matters. I would hope no one would want to encourage nuclear atrocities like what happened in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, or the other offenses against humanity that took place in WWII and continue today but want to discourage them, if not to eliminated them. You don’t? Like “so what”?

This is your big chance to say, “All Lives Matter”. Are you blowing it?


Bombing civilians in Japan was the plan and had been done extensively before the two atomic bombs were dropped.


We need to stop viewing historical events through a contemporary lens. We were at war with Japan. We were firebombing their cities with horrific loss of Japanese life. There are 2 primary goals when at war, 1) killing the enemy, 2) your troops. Dropping the bomb accomplished both goals. Invasion was imminent and American casualty projections for that invasion far exceeded the losses due to the bomb. Actually Japanese casualties due to the bomb were well below the projected Japanese casualties due to an invasion. Based on the information Truman had at the time, dropping the bombs was the better choice. It is very easy to Monday Morning Quarterback and say Japan was close to surrender. However, American experience with the Japanese consistently indicated they were tenacious and indefatigable. At the time, Japanese surrender was not a given.


Actually, it was more likely the Russians coming into the war against Japan that tipped the scales. This was after the 2 nuclear bombs and the firebombing of Tokyo. I hope we never again see the use of such horrific weapons, but there are many rogue actors out there and the weapons have gotten smaller and more powerful.


'“Not only were these events tragic, but they were unnecessary,' Duthinh said." We visited Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7 some years ago with a number of its elderly survivors and family. Do that.


One of my uncles lived to 92 because of the atomic bomb being dropped on Japan cities. He had already seen 168 days of front line combat, in Patton's 3rd Army tank Corp. Went to Bastogne, Ardennes - Battle of the Bulge on across the Rhine into Germany. He was back in the U.S. at a base in California waiting to be shipped out to Japan.

The Japanese lied to us and the attack at Pearl Harbor was a sneak attack. The Japanese pilots were laughing as they went on a killing spree..A cousin of my mother in law went down on the Arizona and is still there.

No matter what anyone says, the atomic bombing was necessary and probably saved many lIves from what would have been hand to hand fighting. Just look at how the Japanese had to be flushed out of caves with flame throwers and all of the atrocities they committed. They were famous for torturing prisoners.



[thumbup] DickD. Have you read Killing Patton? Good analysis with lots of detailed maps about the battles your uncle was in.



No, this weekend I did watch a video of WWII on TV. If you watched that you would realize how bad it was. The U.S. landed on Guadalcanal in 1942. The Japanese drove off U.S. supply ships and our forces were isolated, fearing another Corregidor. They did get supplies after a time, but it took six months to take the island in jungle fighting. The uncle that was in Germany had a younger brother who quit school and join the Army. Although Guadalcanal was mostly fought by the Marine Corp, the younger brother, a medic, was on Guadalcanal. He was shell shocked and got malaria there. After the war he went back to school, got a college degree, under the G.I. Bill of Rights and was a Flight Engineer for Flying Tigers and United Airlines.


Agreed 100% Dick!!!




In WWII, 214,000 lives were lost in the bombings, and 69,800,000 were lost by some other means.


Not sure if Japan was 'well on its way to surrendering", but I know my Dad was 'well on his way to invade Japan" when the first bomb was dropped. He wound up being one of the Occupation Forces and later went on to co-invent the Integrated Gate Bias Transistor (IGBT) that was one of the first power transistors and found in every hybrid car today.


Reading a book about that chapter of history right now. It was a great shame for the Japanese to surrender and they would've fought to the death rather than surrender. Truman looked at all of the estimates of the cost of a land invasion and weighed those against the deaths of the Japanese. The Japanese started the conflict in a big way and we ended it.

And don't forget the atrocities committed by the Japanese against POWs and the civilian populations of the countries they conquered.



War is one big proving ground for weapons that have been developed, either before or during the conflict, and at least one of those bombs was going to be dropped one way or another in order that the effects could be studied and analyzed. Tests in New Mexico and on ocean atolls told the scientists a lot, but there was no way the U.S. government was going to put the time, effort, and expense into developing a weapon like those bombs and not use at least one of them for it's intended purpose to see what kind of results it would bring.


I just read the text of Hirohito's address to the Japanese people after agreeing to the terms of surrender. He did not mention the word "surrender", but said "the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest".

In other words, they have kicked our asses and good.



but bosco; they DID surrender. So your comment is inherently untrue. They chose not to fight to the death.


Yes, shiftless, up to the point where we dropped the second bomb. After we vaporized Hiroshima, the emperor did not want to surrender because it would be admitting that he was not the god that the Japanese thought he was. It was only after we vaporized Nagasaki that the emperor and the military leadership saw that it was hopeless.

Up until then, the Japanese were known to fight to the death rather than surrender because surrender was a great shame.



bosco; again you seem to be dodging the fact that you are inherently incorrect. They did not fight to the death. Or are you suggesting that our soldiers are cowards and surrender at the first sign of a fight?


"....they would've fought to the death rather than surrender." Shiftless, I believe the key word to bosco's 7:04 comment is "would've." They were well known to fight to the death in multiple instances during the course of us taking back the islands they had captured, but the subject here is IF Japan had been invaded they would have fought to the death again defending their homeland. Correct me if I'm wrong bosco.


You got it KR999, not sure why shiftless isn't getting the gist of my remarks. To surrender was dishonor. They were well known to fight to the death rather than surrender. Even after we vaporized Nagasaki, Japan did not accept surrender until we firebombed Tokyo several days afterwards.



What's your point shiftless? [ninja]


They surrendered. Which part of that do you not get? When you say "they would have fought until death rather than surrender" you are completely wrong because what they actually DID was surrender. Period. So no, they wouldn't have fought to the death, or they'd all be dead and I wouldn't have a Toyota in my garage.


The Japs had proven their propensity to not surrender across the islands of the Pacific and under convential warfare up to then would likely have never surrendered until the last soldier was dead and a lot of civilians. The two A bombs and subsequent firebombing of Tokyo took the wind righr out of their sails.

No sure why you are being such a contrarian on this, but.... Whatever.



Bosco, shiftless is either having as much trouble grasping the context of your original comment here as NMP had with mine regarding the words "freely" and "volunteer" in the "Dueling rallies" article, or they're both arguing just for the sake of it. I don't know, go figure.

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