When President Obama announced he was going to be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, since the World War II nuclear bombing, critics wondered if it was just going to be another stop on his apology tour. They had reason to think that. Our commander-in-chief has felt the need to condemn Americans’ actions all over the globe. In Cuba, he failed to defend our country when dictator Raul Castro criticized the United States for its supposed lack of freedoms. In Europe, he sighed that America has demonstrated “arrogance.” Obama's rhetoric has also been attached to several images of him bowing to foreign leaders.
So, many expected Obama to apologize for America’s decision to speed the conclusion of World War II by dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He didn’t say “sorry” during his 20-minute speech in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park on Friday, but he did express regret and hoped for a nuclear-free future.
Obama said that "71 years ago on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed."
"A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city, and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself," the President added during his address at the site of the first nuclear bombing.
Before his remarks, the president laid a wreath on the Hiroshima museum’s cenotaph. He also met with survivors from the Hiroshima bombing and signed the museum guest book, in which he wrote down his hope that the world will one day "find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons."
For an argument in favor of America’s World War II actions, read Matt’s piece detailing how dropping atomic bombs on Japan was a good thing.