Marshall Islands Marks 71st Anniverary Of First Nuclear Test At Bikini Atoll

President Heine addresses Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day in Majuro

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, March 2, 2017) – “Grief, terror and righteous anger” has not faded for Marshall Islanders despite the passage of 71 years since the first nuclear weapons test at Bikini Atoll, President Hilda Heine told a Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day ceremony Wednesday in Majuro.

The event included a parade, ringing of a bell 71 times to mark the years since the first Bikini tests, and speeches to mark March 1, the anniversary of the Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in 1954. It is a national holiday in the Marshall Islands.

This year’s nuclear test commemoration did not end as usual with the morning program. A three-day “Nuclear Legacy Conference: Charting a Journey Toward Justice” kicked off Wednesday afternoon in Majuro with a keynote address by Ambassador Tony deBrum, and presentations by Marshall Islanders and experts from the United States and Japan who traveled to Majuro to attend the conference.

At Wednesday morning’s ceremony, President Heine said the U.S. government had not been honest as to the “extent of radiation and the lingering effects the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing Program would have on our lives, ocean and land.”

She pointed out that U.S. government studies kept secret from the Marshall Islands during negotiations on a compensation agreement reached in the 1980s “have now shown that 18 other inhabited atolls or single islands were contaminated by three of the six nuclear bombs tested in Operation Castle, as well as by the Bravo shot in 1954. The myth of only four ‘exposed’ atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap and Utrik, has shaped US nuclear policy on the Marshallese people since 1954, which limited medical and scientific follow up, and compensation programs.

“As your president, I cannot and will not accept the position of the United States government. Unlike the U.S., we acted in good faith. That is why ours is a moral case for which we are more than justified to seek redress.”

U.S. Ambassador Karen Stewart honored islanders who suffered from nuclear testing and said “we will never forget Marshallese who sacrificed for global security.” Speaking about those who had already passed away, she said she was “encouraged by their and your courage for justice and your courage to build a better society.” Stewart said the U.S. “will continue to be your partner…for a brighter future for the Marshall Islands.”

Enewetak Sen. Jack Ading, speaking on behalf of other nuclear-affected atolls, pointed out that few survivors of the 1940s evacuations and nuclear weapons tests are still alive. “For most of us, the paradise that God created is just a legend from our elders,” he said. “By the time most of us were born, our paradise was a paradise lost.”

Ading said the 67 weapons tests left a “toxic legacy” that will affect the Marshall Islands for generations. Although 43 of those tests were at Enewetak, Ading said “my homeland was gone after the first nuclear device was exploded in 1948.”

The testing vaporized three islands in Enewetak, and a crater from one test was turned into “a massive dump for radioactive waste” that is now “leaking and devoid of warning signs or barriers. It is a constant source of concern.”

A number of doctors, scientists and researchers from the United States and Japan are participating in the three-day Nuclear Legacy Conference that started Wednesday afternoon.

Marianas Variety
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The Present President of the USA Wants to Win a War for America Which Could Mean Firing off a Nuclear Warhead towards the Middle East, Syria, Russia , or any country He Feels like Beating . Tremendous Weapons of MASS Destruction Which would use up the Old ones sitting around in Silo's or underground Bunkers that Need up grading ... it is Not only the Country he Hits but all the Countries Down Wind from it as well .. the USA Started Testing Nukes in America before Going Off Shore to the isolated islands in the Pacific.

Please don't forget that the U.S.government nit only lied to the RMI but also to the world,about the atomic CLEAN up of ENEWETAK ATOLL RMI...WE THE REMAINING MEN THAT CLEANED AND SUPPORTED THE CLEAN UP EFFORTS HAVE BEEN ABANDONED BY OUW ON GOVERNMENT...WE ARE DIEING OF RADIATION POISONING AND OUR OWN GOVERNMENT DENIES US HEALTH BENEFITS..AND DENIES ALL CLAIMS REGARDING RADIATION RELATED ILLNESSES...PLEASE LOOK UP THE ATOMICCLEANUPVETS AND SUPPORT US IN BRINGING OUT THIS COVER-UP TO THE WORLD...WE DID WHAT WAS TOLD AND BELIEVE NI HARM WOULD COME TO US...THE us government gave us no protection from the radioactive fallout that remains on the still..we cleared all the worst radiation fall out with no protection from it at all...go to KEN KASIK pictures will prove all islands men wore only shorts,tee shirts and boots and hats...this is what out government did to us...and now won't even acknowledge us atomic veterans....pls help save the remaining few veterans in making the US government pay for their past inhuman treatment of their HEROS...CIBTACK ME AT KENNETHKASIK@GMAIL.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION....ALOHA

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