For one brief moment, on Wednesday, I paid homage to the people of the Marshall Islands who suffered the end of life to their community, islands and way of life, by a demon created by the Americans.

Bravo Bomb. March 1, 1954. One of the 317 nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific. A 15-megaton three-stage weapon.

Early in the morning on March 1, 1954, the hydrogen bomb was detonated on the surface of the reef in the northwestern corner of Bikini Atoll.

The area was illuminated by a huge and expanding flash of blinding light.

A raging fireball of intense heat that measured into the millions of degrees shot skyward at a rate of 300 miles an hour.

Within minutes the monstrous cloud, filled with nuclear debris, shot up more than 20 miles and generated winds hundreds of miles per hour.

These fiery gusts blasted the surrounding islands and stripped the branches and coconuts from the trees.

The Bikini Atoll nuclear test, Castle Bravo.

Wikimedia Commons

The decision the Navy made to go forward with the Bravo test knowing that the winds were blowing in the direction of inhabited atolls was essentially a decision to irradiate the northern Marshall Islands, and moreover, to irradiate the people who were still living on it.

Military reports indicate that Bravo was the single worst incident of fallout of all of the bombs tested.

Bravo is not over.

The people of the Marshall Islands, who sacrificed their home and society for America’s nuclear ambitions, still live in squalid conditions at home, as well as homeless in Hawaii, unable to live in peace and comfort in their own homeland.

We must remember, we cannot pretend this did not happen, for fear it will happen again.

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