This essay theorizes about nuclear militarism in the Pacific—specifically, US nuclear militarism in the Marshall Islands—by tracing the critical musicological term resonance, or the deep, full, reverberant vibrational connections that disrupt modern constructs of spatiotemporal presence. Resonance refers to the amplification of a (sound) system through the matching of a frequency with an external system, shifting perceptual magnitude through connection of two separate systems that share some vibrational quality. I use the term resonance in these literal and metaphorical ways to examine how, in the aftermath of the United States’ many attacks on the Marshall Islands—nuclear, experimental, sociocultural—that created radiogenic decay as well as broader systemic decay for the Indigenous communities, the United States’ culture of silence and secrecy around nuclear testing disabled the resonance of Marshallese appeals for nuclear justice, thus promulgating such decay. Focusing on what I call “radiation songs” and nuclear commemoration, I explore how vocal resonance moves across generations as Marshallese navigate militarized currents and remember other forms of navigation or wayfinding, such as oceanic outrigger canoe–based navigation that, like singing, brings more-than-human communities together.

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