President Obama Apologized for Dropping Atomic Bombs on Japan-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
As America honored fallen soldiers on Memorial Day weekend, reports that President Obama visited Hiroshima to apologize for dropping an atomic there to end World War II fueled outrage on social media.
President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima since an atomic bomb was dropped there in August 1945 — but reports that he apologized are false.
Obama visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on May 27th and laid a wreath in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in remembrance of those killed by the atomic bombs that ended World War II. That sparked accusations that the president was on an “apology tour” — which has been a running theme among his critics throughout Obama’s presidency.
However, according to transcripts of public remarks that Obama delivered in Hiroshima, he never offered an apology. Rather, he used the visit to warn against the danger of nuclear proliferation. Obama opened his speech with this explanation of his visit:
Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.
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.
Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.
Later in his speech, Obama indicated that his visit to Hiroshima was part of a larger call for the world’s powers to draw down nuclear stockpiles and to end nuclear proliferation:
That is why we come to this place. We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry. We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war and the wars that came before and the wars that would follow.
Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.
Some day, the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. But the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.
So, claims that President Obama apologized for dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima are false.