Hagel and nukes

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Recently, the second annual day of remembrance for downwinders was commemorated in Salt Lake City. Decades of nuclear testing in Nevada resulted in a heavy human toll of sickness and death, as well as a regrettable legacy of distrust.

Fortunately, the outmoded Cold War mind-set is changing. Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of defense, supports efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons ("Hagel supports nuclear arms cuts, then elimination," Tribune, Jan. 30).

Global Zero's step-by-step, multi-lateral plan to arrive at a world without nuclear weapons has been inaccurately characterized, but it offers our best hope for arms reductions and nonproliferation.

Let's not forget that, 25 years ago, President Ronald Reagan began the process of nuclear arms reductions and called for "the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth." More recently, Obama committed "to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."

Our U.S. senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, can help fulfill the vision of a nuclear weapons-free world by supporting the nomination of Hagel.

Christine G. Meecham

Salt Lake City