Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa!

Patrick Sieber Features

Yoshio Sato, a “Hibakusha” (atomic bomb survivor) with pictures of his family killed 61 years ago, began simply: “On August 6, 1945, I was exposed to the atomic bomb at just one kilometer away from ground zero in Hiroshima.”

He followed with an account that defines terror. One of the pictures depicts Yoshio’s mother holding her dying daughter across her lap in a modern “Pieta.” Eventually, his entire family fell victim.

I told him that I was sorry for the part I played in the killing of his family – I was almost two when they dropped the bombs. “In the U.S.,” I explained, “every bomb dropped has all of our names on it, and I am ashamed.” He told me he understood and accepted my apology.

We followed Sato’s recollections with a “Die-in” dramatizing for a few minutes the reality of war and Lockheed Martin’s “wares of war” and the sharing of water in memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Seeking water, they perished upon the rivers, where they sought relief from the bombings’ firestorms’ heat.

We then proceeded to walk to the main entranceways of the Lockheed Martin weapons facility. This has been the focus of our ongoing campaign of nonviolent resistance, since the mega weapons corporation was conceived a decade ago in the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta.

In every war lies the threat of another Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Lockheed Martin is built atop the ashes of the nuclear age and continuing war and global nuclear reach of the U.S. military empire. In memory of all victims of the past 61 years of war and nuclear terror, we cry out for peace and a future worthy of our hopes and children: education, homes, decent health, justice, an honoring of the earth, peace.

The sunflower has become a worldwide symbol for peace, carrying the hope of a world free of nuclear weapons and war. We claim for peace the land on which Lockheed Martin sits. We seek to reclaim our country for peace and the promise of justice and democracy. We seek to reclaim a determined hope for a world free of nuclear weapons and war. Today, we join hands in front of Lockheed Martin. Today, we recall the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with ashes. And with sunflower seeds, we plant our hopes here at Lockheed Martin for peace and for justice.”

People then walked into Lockheed Martin, spreading ashes and sunflower seeds, before being arrested and taken to the Upper Merion Police Station.

Those arrested and released on disorderly conduct citations were Patrick Sieber, Tom Mullian, Bernadette Cronin-Geller, Tim Chadwick, Beth Friedlan, Annie Geers, Melissa Elliott, Mary Jo McArthur, Robert M. Smith and Robert Daniels II.