Hiroshima Visited By President Barack Obama

Posted on May 27th, 2016 by:

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Hiroshima Visited By President Barack Obama

In Hiroshima, Japan, President Barack Obama paid tribute to victims of the world’s first atomic bombing while hoping to bring attention to his vision of a nuclear free world.


President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe, in front of the Hiroshima Memorial (Photo: Carlos Barria-Reuters)

On Friday, President Obama was the first sitting American President to visit the city since the August 6, 1945 attack. An estimated 140,000 people were killed in the bombing including 20,000 Japanese soldiers and 20 American, Dutch and British prisoners of war.

President Obama meeting with survivors of the bombing (Photo: Carlos Barria-Reuters)

President Obama meeting with survivors of the bombing (Photo: Carlos Barria-Reuters)

In a carefully planned ceremony, President Obama laid a wreath and bowed his

head at the Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial. “Death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” Obama said about the bombing. He continued that the attack, “demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.”

The President did not offer an apology to the bombing, but hopes his visit will ignite a “moral awakening,” on the nuclear weapons.

Standing side by side with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama reflected on the bombing at the memorial.

“We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell … we listen to a silent cry,” said Obama.


President Obama laying a wreath at the memorial
(Photo: Shuji Kajiyama-AP)

Critics of Obama believe his presence in Hiroshima will be seen as an apology for the attack which many believe hastened the end of WWII and avoided the slaughter of an American military invasion of the Japanese home islands. While supporters of Obama feel his trip is a long overdue gesture of goodwill to mend old wounds.

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