ST. LOUIS – St. Louis, MO. Veterans For Peace, a national organization made up of military veterans and military family members, released an apology to the people of Japan for U.S. usage of nuclear weapons. This apology is in conjunction with a call to President Obama to also apologize to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his upcoming visit to Pearl Harbor.
Veterans For Peace expresses our deepest condolences to all those who were killed and maimed, and to their families. We apologize to the Hibakusha, the survivors of the nuclear bombings, and we thank them for their courageous, continuing witness.
We apologize to all the Japanese people and to all the people of the world. This hugely atrocious crime against humanity should never have happened. As military veterans who have come to see the tragic futility of war, we promise that we will continue working for peace and disarmament. We want to see nuclear disarmament in our lifetime.
As the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Veterans For Peace recognizes the historic significance of President Obama’s May visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan. It is an important though small step towards healing. As military veterans who have trained for and/or fought in wars, we know that any step, even small ones, make a difference in efforts to reduce violence and death. However, we continue to be dismayed at the lack of accountability that the U.S. has taken towards unleashing the most devastating attack the world has ever seen. The U.S. remains the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons, of which the side effects are still being felt today, seventy years later.
So while we commend the steps President Obama has taken to bring attention to the immoral bombing of Japan and the horror of nuclear weapons as only a president can, we know that the foundation for any true friendship is one of trust and accountability. Veterans For Peace calls on President Obama to publicly apologize for the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to take responsibility for the horrific outcomes those bombs had on Japan.