I sent the following letter with copies going to people all over the world: Prime Ministers, presidents, church leaders, entertainers, etc.
September 16, 1985
To the Mayor of Hiroshima, Japan:
My name is Hazel Gay. I live in Healdton, Oklahoma, USA, just a few miles from where I was born. I have four children and three grandchildren. My father, Leon Gay, volunteered for the army in December, 1942. I was three years old. He was my idol, my god. I was five years old when he was killed in Germany, October 10, 1944. I was six years old when the Enola Gay dropped its payload on an unsuspecting world.
Though I didn’t suffer through the tragedy of nuclear holocaust, my life and my mother’s life in this grand country for which my father so quickly gave up his life has been LIVING HELL. Interestingly, it was not until this past August that I have been able to bury him emotionally.
I was impressed by the ability of the media of the world to put together the project for African relief. It is thrilling to see so many stars put their efforts into something like that. I stopped to watch as the young people around the world did the only thing they knew how to do, for a CAUSE.
Now I wonder if the media of the world can spare a minute for peace on Wednesday, New Year’s Day, 1986, to “Stop the Clock” as it were. For example, the athletes in this country are attempting < to carve out a new image of themselves as “real,” “caring” people. What an opportunity! As the world watches, they could interrupt the game at a certain signal, the competitors mingle, and like the men in the Greek folk dances, put their arms around each other, and the spectators could hold hands for one minute, each in his own way, “praying” for peace. Then maybe them all singing, “We are the world, we are the children,” before resuming the game. The other networks interrupting their programming for a minute of silence, the radios stop, where possible the machinery of society stops and the workers stop, just for a minute for PEACE. There could be a build up to this, of course, with information about what is going to happen and why. All at once? Or like a wave of silence around the world? Like when we turned on all the lights for the astronauts in space, we can each light one candle, put it in the window, for Peace. If we have enough candles lit, the world can find its way in this hour of its darkest night.
There could be visual aids to help those who have been hurt so badly they have lost the ability to IMAGINE or to HOPE even. I can see how all the creative minds of the world could put together some programming to visually and auditorally demonstrate what the whole thing is about, with so many spin-offs possible! The schools would participate by telling the children about what was going to happen and why before the holidays. They might practice having a moment of silence in their classrooms to try to picture in their heads what PEACE in the world would mean, ALL OVER THE WORLD! This wouldn’t be the minute of silence as they raise the flag and play the national anthem, this would be an entirely separate thing, a minute of silence – for the WORLD.
I don’t know about your nation but we have become a nation of “spectators.” We go to the games and watch somebody else doing something. We turn on the TV and watch as somebody else plays music and as a result, “the people” no longer make music. We’ve gone to “spectator” government. Just like the gamblers on a boxing match, we “place our bet,” “vote” on one person and then stand back to watch someone else doing everything and criticize or applaud and wonder why the world is going to hell?!
“Stop the Clock” would be something EVERYONE could PARTICIPATE in. It wouldn’t ask money from those who don’t have it; it wouldn’t ask talent from those who feel they don’t have any; it wouldn’t ask if you were pretty or ugly, young or old. It wouldn’t ask if you believe in God or not. All that would be asked is TIME, that element, that in the final analysis is perhaps the only thing we all have in common. Pouring the money into the problems doesn’t seem to be getting to the root of the problems. Maybe it’s not just “Brother, can you spare a dime?” but “Brother, can you spare some TIME?”
Did those innocents in Hiroshima die in vain? Did those innocents die in vain at Dachau, Auschitz? Did my father, Leon Gay, die in vain? Is all life in vain? Only if we let it become so. Hand by hand, country by country, continent by continent, can your country and mine finally touch, leaving the bitterness of the past behind and look toward the future – together? Even the new scientists are now beginning to learn what the artists have always known, that anything is possible. Is it time for humankind to make a quantum leap into the future?
The base of my investment in this project was 1500 U.S. Lincoln pennies, four of which I found This message cost me about 100 of those Lincoln pennies, not even measurable compared to the cost of the message delivered from the Enola Gay.
I received some wonderfully encouraging responses from some very famous people.