The United Nations session of July 7, 2017 was a monumental gathering during which 133 out of 195 countries in the United Nations Assembly voted to abolish nuclear weapons.

Hurricane Katrina devasted New Orleans in 2005. Nearly 2000 people died in the tragic natural mishap. General Russell Honoré, a Louisiana native was sent to organize relief efforts for the devasted city.  When I asked General Honoré what he thought of nuclear weapons, he promptly replied, “I could live without them!”  Encouraged by his reply, I asked why the USA and Mrs. Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the UN were so opposed to abolition, General Honoré said, “Because of the money involved.” The building of nuclear weapons is a multi-trillion-dollar enterprise employing tens of thousands at over twenty locations around the United States.

I personally visited Pantex, the largest employer in Amarillo, Texas. This huge complex is one of many atomic weapon facilities in the nation. If Mrs. Haley, as former Governor of South Carolina urged support for nuclear abolition, she would be harming the economy of a state where the Savanah River Nuclear Facility employs thousands in the national security business. The Savannah facility is known as a “Fort Knox of the atomic defense industry.”

President Obama approved a trillion-dollar, thirty-year proposal for modernization of nuclear weapons. Modernization only makes nuclear war more possible.

Beatrice Fihn of the International Campaign for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow were honored with a Nobel Peace prize following passage of The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) vote.

Pakistan and India are nuclear nations which have gone to war three times over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Indian novelist Arundhati Roy (1961 -) pondered the tension existing in our present atomic age. She responded to the situation philosophically: “It could all be over in an afternoon!”

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock placed the minute hand at two minutes before midnight, the closest we have come to nuclear warfare since 1945.

With 15,000 nuclear weapons in arsenals of nine nations, will all leaders expand their concept of “denuclearization” to every country in the world?

7,701 Mayors for Peace in 163 countries have already voted for abolition. What is your Mayor thinking?