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TOKYO (AP) — A grandson of ex-U.S. President Harry Truman, who ordered the atomic bombings of Japan during World War II, is in Hiroshima to attend a memorial service for the victims.
Clifton Truman Daniel visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Saturday and laid a wreath for the 140,000 people killed by the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing authorized by his grandfather. Another atomic blast in Nagasaki three days later killed 70,000 more.
“I think this cenotaph says it all — to honor the dead to not forget and to make sure that we never let this happen again,” Daniel said after offering a silent prayer.
Daniel is in Japan to attend ceremonies next week in Hiroshima and Nagasaki marking the 67th anniversary of the bombings. His visit, the first by a member of the Truman family, is sponsored by the peace group Sadako Legacy, named after Sadako Sasaki, an A-bomb victim who died of leukemia at age 12. While in the hospital, Sadako folded hundreds of paper cranes after hearing a legend that people who make 1,000 origami cranes can be granted a wish. Origami cranes have since become a symbol of peace.
Daniel met Sadako’s 71-year-old brother, Masahiro Sasaki, who survived the bombing, at a peace event in New York in 2010. They agreed to work together to deepen understanding between the two countries, which are still divided over the question of the legitimacy of the atomic attacks.
Is the Obama Apology Tour going to apologize to Japan for dropping the atomic bomb 65 years ago?”
EXCLUSIVE: The son of the U.S. Air Force pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb in the history of warfare says the Obama administration’s decision to send a U.S. delegation to a ceremony in Japan to mark the 65th anniversary of the attack on Hiroshima is an “unsaid apology” and appears to be an attempt to “rewrite history.”
James Tibbets, son of Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., says Friday’s visit to Hiroshima by U.S. Ambassador John Roos is an act of contrition that his late father would never have approved.
“It’s an unsaid apology,” Tibbets, 66, told FoxNews.com from his home in Georgiana, Ala. “Why wouldn’t it be? Why would [Roos] go? It doesn’t make any sense.
“I know it’s the anniversary, but I don’t know what the hell they’re trying to do. It needs to be left alone. The war is over.”
Tibbets, whose father died in 2007 at the age of 92, said he receives dozens of calls from veterans every year around this time thanking him for his father’s service.