The annual Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day brought the community together to commemorate the Marshallese nuclear weapons test legacy with a solidarity march led by RMI President Hilda Heine and US Ambassador Karen Stewart, followed by speeches, posters, essays and music.
Majuro Mayor Ladie Jack recognized the work put in by students and national leaders, while Stewart spoke in encouragement of learning and honoring the history. Music groups from Enewetak and Ejit sang of remembering the sacrifices they made while CMI accentuated the march in the same manner.
Utrik Senator Minister Amenta Matthew paid tribute to her predecessors and nuclear champions including the late Ambassador Tony deBrum saying, “We shall never forget.”
Heine’s keynote address summed up the past and current work of the Nuclear Claims Tribunal, National Nuclear Commission, and individuals such as Bill Graham who the RMI is indebted to for speaking of the injustices that Marshallese still suffer. Currently they are working on developing a curriculum for high schools that will include nuclear studies, she said, and a new protocol is being put in place to make sure researchers understand and will contribute to the nuclear legacy.
Furthermore, Heine highlighted the progress of a multi-year project to set up archives in Gerona, Spain as well as Switzerland so they may remain for future generations.
The Commission also hosted an essay and poster contest for all schools for which Ejit Elementary student Christina Caleb recited the story of her grandparents who were relocated while believing that “everything is in God’s hands.”
The CMI Nuclear Club, headed by Mary Silk, was praised for their group posters that chronologically detailed the nuclear test history from 1946 to 1958. USP students in Majuro and Fiji also got involved by starting a #MyFishisYourFish social media trend and hosting a solidarity march in Suva, Fiji as part of their commemoration activites.
Read more about this in the March 8, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.