Posted by | August 6, 2010 15:42 | Filed under: Top Stories

Family members of victims of the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima pray and grieve at Peace Memorial Park. For the first time, the United States sent an envoy to the ceremony, Ambassador John V. Roos.

Until Friday, American officials had always skipped the annual ceremony, fearing their presence would renew the debate over whether the United States should apologize for the World War II bombings, which together killed more than 200,000 people in explosions so intense that many victims were vaporized, leaving only ghostly shadows on walls, while others died in agony from burns and radiation sickness.

Such a debate would probably be politically divisive in the United States and could even drive a wedge between America and Japan, one of Washington’s closest allies. American officials have long defended the bombings as having shortened the war and avoided an invasion, which they say would have cost untold thousands of American and Japanese lives. But many Japanese see the attacks as the epitome of the indiscriminate slaughter of modern warfare, and a principal reason for Japan’s postwar pacifism.

There are calls for President Obama to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is conceivable during a planned trip to Japan in November.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.