「Seventy-one years ago,on a bright…」
Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity's core contradiction -- how the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our tool making, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will -- those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction.
How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth? How easily do we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause?
Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness. And yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith has a license to kill.
Nations arise telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats, but those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different. Science allows us to communicate across the seas, fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos. But those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.