Obama Speaks at Hiroshima: ‘Death Fell From the Sky’ With Atomic Bomb

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President Barack Obama delivered remarks Friday during his trip to Hiroshima, Japan, marking the first time an American president has visited the city since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb there in August 1945 to hasten the end of World War II.

Speaking at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Obama said "death fell from the sky" when describing the effects of America’s decision.

"Seventy-one years ago, on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky, and the world was changed," Obama solemnly told observers, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe standing behind his right shoulder.

"A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself," Obama continued. "Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a 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."

The president then asked everyone to "look inward and take stock of who we are and what we might become." He later called for a "world without nuclear weapons" and reaffirmed America’s close alliance with Japan.

Obama did not apologize for President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb and was not expected to do so. The White House has gone out of its way to make clear that Obama would not issue an apology or revisit the decision itself.

Japan soon surrendered to end World War II after the atomic bomb was used, avoiding a full-scale U.S. assault on the Japanese mainland.

Aaron Kliegman

Aaron Kliegman   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Aaron Kliegman is the news editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Aaron worked as a research associate at the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank, and as the deputy field director on Micah Edmond's campaign for U.S. Congress. In December 2016, he received his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security Studies Program in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in strategic studies. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2014 and lives in Leesburg, Virginia. His Twitter handle is @Aaron_Kliegman. He can be reached at kliegman@freebeacon.com.

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