Setsuko Thurlow has made it her life's mission to work against the forces that wish to proliferate the use of nuclear weapons in the world. It was a logical and necessary course of action after the devastation she lived through more than seven decades ago. However, Friday was special day for the Japanese woman as a treaty instituting a Nuclear Ban was approved by the United Nations in New York.

A nuclear ban in place

A vote for the nuclear ban on Friday saw 122 countries back up the proposal. Of all the countries to vote on the proposal, only the Netherlands voted against it. The consensus among the countries in attendance was that the devastation that can be caused by these weapons should never shatter the Earth again.

Unfortunately, not everyone took place in the discussion, including the United States - several nations criticized the discussions as countries with an arsenal within their borders.

That means the work of Thurlow and others in her camp is not yet done. An international law could be on the books, but that doesn't force countries to give up their nuclear weapons. The nuclear ban could help push those nations to reconsider the global desire for those weapons to exist, though. In that sense, Friday's events help push the discussion forward for all countries to enter the dialogue when they so choose.

Emotional moment for Thurlow

After the nuclear ban was approved, cameras captured an emotional scene for Thurlow, who was in attendance. She shared a hug and received a standing ovation from everyone in attendance who had supported her efforts.

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She also gave remarks, stating: "I have waited 7 decades for this moment & I am overjoyed."

The vote was personal for Thurlow. As a child, she lived in Hiroshima, Japan when the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on the city in the final days of World War II. At least 70,000 people were killed instantly, with another 70,000 or so suffering serious injuries - it remains one of the darkest days in the history of humanity. After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, she became a powerful advocate against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

It's no wonder that the nuclear ban was personal for her - the course of her entire life changed as a result of the use of nuclear weapons. Setsuko Thurlow can only hope that this moment will lead to a global decision to put down the deadly arms once and for all and move forward as a more peaceful society.