Editor's note: The following letters to the editor are from students in the 8th-grade class at Prescott Mile High Middle School. For two months, teacher Robin Andre's students have been studying World War II. They are expressing their opinions here on the use of nuclear weaponry after their study of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
One topic that I believe is very important is that of nuclear weaponry. Over the past 50 years, the human race has made many advances in the world of nuclear warfare. An example of this progress is the fact that the United States alone has spent 8.75 trillion dollars on the development of these weapons and we, the U.S., have approximately 5,113 nuclear bombs. Many feel that nuclear weapons are great and act as an asset to our country. Others believe that it will only spiral the world as we know it into oblivion. I, for one, agree with the latter.
In my opinion, no man should be able to have the power to single handedly destroy civilization; or as George F. Kennan states, "There is no one wise enough and strong enough to hold in his hands the destructive power sufficient to put an end to civilized life on a great portion of our planet."
After discovering the severe impact that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on Japan, I honestly feel that the many nations on this earth should steer clear of this form of weaponry. No one should have the power to "play God" per se, and take so many innocent lives. Along with the factor of countless casualties, there are many repercussions of using weapons of mass destruction. A very significant backlash is the aftermath of a nuclear strike. After a bomb goes off, the ground soaks in the radiation and becomes infertile for many years. Along with that, the nuclear fallout, or radioactive material that is in the atmosphere after a bomb is dropped, can cause cancer, damage the water supply and cause mutations to occur in both animals and humans. Overall, to me, the consequences of this form of warfare by far outweighs the benefits.
Despite the debate on whether allowing such powerful weapons is correct or not, I believe that when it comes to this topic, we need to lay to rest the politics and look to our hearts and our minds for the ethical solution. Is it really worth risking total destruction just to win a war? I personally believe that there is always a peaceful and diplomatic solution. Next time you think about the topic of nuclear warfare and think, "That won't affect me", I ask you to remember this one simple thing: "In nuclear war, we are all cremated equally" (DEXTER GORDON, attributed, 100 Common Misconceptions About Dexter Gordon).