When he left office in 1953, Harry S Truman was one of the most unpopular chief executives in history of United States. Although he has two commemorative postal stamps to his name, he is more known in this part of the world, as the man who authorized the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Every year the two cities host a memorial service and this year Truman’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel will be a part of the ceremonies.
Truman has been invited by an anti-nuclear group to attend the memorial services on August 6th in Hiroshima and August 9th in Nagasaki. He will also meet the survivors of the nuclear blasts as well as Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum visit is in his agenda, and hopefully standing right next to the charred remains of the Atomic Bomb Dome, it will bring to him the magnitude of devastation caused by the bombs, to innocent citizens.
I visited Hiroshima around two years ago and the tranquil waters nearby belied the pain and agony of those who were killed by the searing heat of the blast. Almost 200,000 people were killed either instantly or due to burns and radiation sickness soon after the blasts. And it pains me to see that most nations are still rushing towards claiming nuclear supremacy, when in reality, if the very people for whom you claim the power cease to exist…what good will that power do?