U.S. President Visits Hiroshima

The U.S. President Barack Obama Visited Hiroshima on Friday, and became the first sitting president of the United States to visit Hiroshima. He stated that he called for the world without nuclear weapons after his appearance at the Peace Memorial Park.
71 years before on a sunny day without any clouds to appear in the sky, death fell from the sky obliterating life in its vicinity and changing the world as we know it. The fact that thousands of lives were eradicated that day in a cloud of fire and light flash proves that mankind is more than capable of destroying itself. Barack Obama stated this after his visit to the site where the first nuclear bomb fell.

The U.S. president’s visit was not expected to be apologetic in nature for the courses of World War II.
During his speech the U.S. president asked the public why do they include him as well in the question, coming to Hiroshima. He also responded in a satisfactory way, addressing with respect and mourning to the public’s families and loved ones who were lost during the World War II nuclear bombings.
The U.S. president directly interacted with the public at his speech, by hugging one of the survivors of the nuclear bombing. Shiegeaki Mori is the survivor of the atomic bombing who also created a memorial for the POWs killed at Hiroshima.
During his motivating speech, there was absolute silence in the Memorial Park during the ceremony. The only think that was obstructing this comfortable silence was the sound of helicopter and nearby ships.
The public was not expecting anyone to come and pay respect who is not Korean or Japanese, and certainly wasn’t expecting the U.S. president. But the Japanese people are honored and thankful that he did come to pay respects to the casualties of war.
The presidential delegation visiting the site included Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor, Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador for Japan, Ben Rhodes(advisor and speechwriter) and others.
More than 100 000 innocent Japanese citizens including women and children died during the bombing. Thousands of Koreans as well as some Americans that were being held as prisoners of war at the time.
This terrible crime against humanity did not happen than long ago. More than 70 years ago the nuclear bombing occurred and there are consequences still to this day.

Whether this is an attempt of strengthening the relations between Japan and U.S. it is an honorable and respectable thing to do, said one of the local citizens. While another citizen stated that they do not need apologies, so not all are accepting the gesture of the U.S. President Barack Obama. With the advanced technology that we have today, available for curing diseases, communicating over great distances, we should also be aware that this technology can be our doom if we don’t use it properly.

President Barack Obama stated that the words cannot express the mourning he feels towards the civilians that died in the bombing. He also added that it is our responsibility to look in the eyes of history to understand our nature better and make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

    Jeffrey Hoffman

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