Hiroshima visit is a historic event

Secretary of State John Kerry becomes first senior official to tour memorial sites


Cory Denton

Before attending talks in Japan, Secretary of State John Kerry laid wreaths at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in respect to the lives lost after the atomic bomb was dropped on the city.

Secretary of State John Kerry did the unthinkable on Monday when he became the first senior government official to tour the Hiroshima bomb site. News networks and political analysts are speculating the purpose of the visit is to strengthen ties prior with Japan to President Barack Obama’s trip to the country in June.

Kerry was accompanied by Japanese officials and diplomats from the Group of 7 industrialized countries who paid their respects at Peace Memorial Park and toured sites that were extremely devastated by the bombing.

Although Kerry’s visit shows America’s commitment to maintaining a strong foreign policy and building stronger relationships with our allies, many are criticizing the Secretary of State’s decision, saying it portrays the U.S. as weak.

Some Americans hold strong to the belief that the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a necessary move in order to prevent World War II from further consuming the world in its destruction. These individuals perceive this visit as an apology for an action that ultimately “benefited” the world.

To me, the dropping of the A-bomb is a hasty and regretful decision made by our country. Yes, WWII was wreaking havoc on the world, but the end was closer than projected. The Allies were able to successfully took back France and toppled the Third Reich. Combined, the Allies would’ve been able to defeat Japan without the use of nuclear weapons.

I’m not sure if this opposition to Kerry’s tour is some sort of blind patriotism or arrogant nationalism but Kerry’s visit is truly monumental. Even though a formal apology hasn’t been made, his presence alone and his actions prove to Japan, U.S. citizens, and the rest of the world that America is committed to upholding peace and prosperity.

I believe that the purpose of Kerry’s visit was not only to pay respect to those lost in the bombings. Along with our recent negotiations with Iran to end their path to nuclear weapons, this historic visit  also strengthened our country’s commitment to creating a world free of the horrors of nuclear war.