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An Occasion to Honor H. Jack Geiger, M.D.
November 4, 2011
packed room at the annual meeting of the American Public Health
Association listened to dozens of tributes, words of gratitude and
heartfelt admiration for Dr. Jack Geiger, a founding member of PSR who
has dedicated his life to combating poverty and racism, protecting human
rights, and preventing war. Beloved as a teacher and mentor, Dr.
Geiger has inspired generations of physicians to have the courage to
right the world’s wrongs. PSR thanks Dr. Geiger for his vision in
helping found our organization and for his belief that we can all work
for a safer, more peaceful and just world.
Dr. Geiger’s message on the occasion of PSR’s 50th Anniversary
are approaching the half-century anniversary of a landmark event: the
successful effort by a handful of physicians and physicists to tell the
somber truth that nuclear war was not survivable, and to counter the
false and dangerous military (and so-called “civil defense”) promises
that it was. The then-fledgling PSR and, later, International Physicians
for the Prevention of Nuclear War have continued that effort ever
this cannot be just a celebration -- or a self-congratulatory
acknowledgement of past history. It is, equally, a warning and a
challenge to a new generation of medical students, residents and
Physicians to take up that challenge, to recognize that our planet is
still awash in nuclear weapons and the fuels to produce them, to know
that the threat has -- perhaps -- changed in form but remains as ominous
as the acronym of the 1960s: MAD. It is your task, now, to finish what
we (and many others) began so long ago: to lead the struggle to
eliminate nuclear weapons and make a reality of another 1960s acronym:
SANE, for the sake of humankind.”