Have you seen the film “Barefoot Gen”? You can watch it on YouTube. But be prepared! It is a true story written by Nakazawa Keiji, a hibakusha (survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945).

On that day, he witnessed the gruesome deaths of his father and siblings, and indeed the entire city of Hiroshima. As an adult, he felt an urgent need to warn future generations what it is like to experience the horrors of a nuclear explosion.

Since then, there have been continual discussions surrounding the issues of nuclear weapons. Notably, today’s news is full of the discussions about Iran’s nuclear future.

Not in our local papers, however, is there news of another discussion: the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

This conference is held every five years. This year, the talks will take place April 27-May 22 at the U.N.

When the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty went into effect in March 1970, there were five nations with nuclear weapons – China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. Not counting Iran, today there are nine!

Despite the clear language of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for disarmament, the five recognized nuclear weapon states are either deploying new delivery systems or modernizing their present ones.

Do you ask, “What can I do about it?” Let me suggest that you write to independent U.S. Sen. Angus King.

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has gained considerable respect for his reasoned approaches. Urge him to always cast his vote to end the world’s addiction to the monster of nuclear weapons.

Sally Breen