To The Daily Sun,
In 1945, a Gallop poll immediately after the bombing found that 85 percent of Americans approved of using the new atomic weapon on Japanese cities. In 1991, according to a Detroit Free Press survey conducted in both Japan and the U.S., 63 percent of Americans said the atomic bomb attacks on Japan were a justified means of ending the war, while only 29 percent thought the action was unjustified. At the same time, only 29 percent of Japanese said the bombing was justified, while 64 percent thought it was unwarranted.
But a 2015 Pew Research Center survey finds that the share of Americans who believe the use of nuclear weapons was justified is now 56 percent, with 34 percent saying it was not. In Japan, only 14 percent say the bombing was justified, versus 79 percent who say it was not.
Times change people's viewpoints. Experience changes people's viewpoints.
In our Hiroshima Remembrance in Concord on Thursday, Aug. 6, our participants numbering about 40 included all ages, from college-age to people in their 80s. One of the elders present quoted for us, because of the threat of nuclear war, "If ever we have WWIII, WWIV will be fought with clubs and stones." I value that we had our gathering, and that one individual reminded us of the larger picture. Nuclear war, and billions dead, and nuclear winter as an aftermath destroying most of the world's agricultural output, is not something to ignore as a possibility.
Kudos to the thoughtful and to the activists who want to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings as a tragedy, in the hopes that nuclear weapons are not ever again used.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
- Category: Letters
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