Friday, May 27, 2016

President Obama Visits Hiroshima

In an event no one ever saw coming, President Obama became the first United States President to visit Hiroshima. It had been a long desire for him to do so and we at American Mishima are thankful that this historic moment has been made. Joined by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, President Obama made the pilgrimage to Peace Memorial Park and laid a wreath for the the 125,000 people that died there from the Atomic Bomb dropped by the B-29 Enola Gay. This figure included mostly civilian men, women, children, a number of Koreans, and a dozen American POW's. This figure does not include the untold thousands that died later from radiation sickness. 
It is most poignant that for an American President to visit Hiroshima. Not to apologize, but to mourn those lives lost and speak of peace. We are pleased that the president met with three Hibakusha present and later spoke of the peace that was forged from this terrible weapon that unleashed its indescribable cruelty that was later repeated in Nagasaki. Japan and the United States have become the best of friends since those dark days near the end of WWII.

"That is why we come to this place. We stand here, in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry.

We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war and the wars that came before and the wars that would follow. Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering, but we have a shared responsibility to look into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.

Someday the voices of the Hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness, but the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change. And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope." - President Barrack Obama 2016.

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