“We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.” - President Barack Obama
By Chisato Iversen
On Friday, May 27th, President Barack Obama made a historic trip to Hiroshima, Japan. Obama became the first president to visit Hiroshima , site of the atomic bombing 71 years ago.
Obama neither apologized nor had he blamed the Japanese for the attack on Pearl Harbor. He simply came to mourn the loss of the victims.
USA Today reported Obama said, “Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder the terrible force unleashed in the not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead including over 100,000 Japanese men women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.”
On August 6, 1945 the first atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, infamously known as “Little Boy.” Roughly 74,000 people were killed.
Obama spoke with two of the survivors, including Shigeaki Mori. Mori was just 8 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped. The New York Times reported that after Obama shook hands with him, then they shared an emotional hug.
Mori recalls the day the bomb fell. He was on his way to school when the blast pushed him off a bridge and into a small river. This protected him from the firestorm and saved his life. Since then, Mori had led the effort to recognize and honor the US airmen detained in Hiroshima who were killed in the blast as well.
Obama called for a world free of nuclear weapons. In the guestbook he wrote, “We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.”