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A-Bomb Survivors, Truman's Grandson to Share Forum at BCCC

“May This Never Happen Again: Atomic Bomb Survivors Meet Harry Truman’s Grandson” takes place Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Bucks County Community College's Newtown campus.

Two survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will share a forum with the grandson of the man who authorized use of the bombs Tuesday at Bucks County Community College.

“May This Never Happen Again: Atomic Bomb Survivors Meet Harry Truman’s Grandson” takes place at 3 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge of the Rollins Center on the college’s Newtown campus.

The forum, sponsored by the college’s Wordsmiths Reading Series and the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, features author Clifton Truman Daniel, the oldest grandson of President Harry S. Truman.  Daniel will be joined by Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima survivor from Toronto, and Yasuaki Yamashita, a Nagasaki survivor from Mexico.

Daniel, a former journalist and public relations executive, is the author of two books, Growing Up With My Grandfather: Memories of Harry S. Truman (Birch Lane Press, 1995) and Dear Harry, Love Bess: Bess Truman's Letters to Harry Truman, 1919-1943 (Truman State University Press, 2011). He recently visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombings of those cities, laying wreaths to commemorate the dead – the first member of the Truman family to do so. Daniel is currently writing a book on the survivors, working with Hibakusha Stories, the sponsoring organization.

Thurlow survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima when she was 13 years old and has been on the forefront of the movement to raise awareness of the atrocities that the use of nuclear weapons causes, according to information from BCCC.  After moving to Canada, she organized the Hiroshima Day commemoration that takes place at Toronto City Hall. Thurlow received a commendation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan in 2011 for her contribution in promoting peace education around the world, and was recently named Special Communicator for Disarmament by the Japanese government. 

Yamashita was six years old when Nagasaki was bombed on August 9, 1945.  He was at home with his mother and sister just a mile and a half from the hypocenter.  His father, who was recruited to help clear debris from the center of the city, later died from radiation exposure.  Some years later Yamashita worked at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital treating those suffering from radiation related ailments and burns.  He moved to Mexico in 1968 where he worked as an artist and began speaking out publicly about his experiences. 

“May This Never Happen Again: Atomic Bomb Survivors Meet Harry Truman’s Grandson” is free and open to the public. For more information about the event, contact Dr. Christopher Bursk at 215-968-8156.

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