Are Apologies Necessary?
In response to the letter written about whether our country has apologized to Japan for the dropping of atomic bombs. Our response would be to ask the question, did the Japanese government ever apologize for attacking Pearl Harbor on a Sunday when people were at a day of rest, and off guard? Did the Japanese government warn Americans ahead of time, by dropping leaflets, telling them that this would happen? One does not have to expect an apology to receive one but, when the question arises, about whether our country apologized then the other side has to be looked at also.
Our government studied the decision of an invasion by land or dropping the atomic bomb on Japan and as a result concluded that the atomic bomb would result in far less loss of life for both Americans and Japanese than an invasion would have cost. The Manhatten Project saved many more lives than it took.
Years ago, Fred’s sister took a group of students to visit Japan. While there, they visited the Hiroshima Memorial. She struck up a conversation with an older Japanese gentleman who was there also. She told the gentleman how uncomfortable she felt as an American, being there. She thought maybe he would feel she or our country was to blame, but he told her, “Oh no, the Japanese Imperial Army was confiscating all farmers crops to keep the war going, and the U.S. planes dropped leaflets to warn people, that if their government didn’t surrender something terrible was going to happen”.
What other country, after a terrible world war, has come up with a way to rebuild a country like the Marshall Plan did to help a former enemy? Maybe apologies don’t have to come in words. Today Japan is a strong and a prosperous ally. It doesn’t seem as if they are waiting on an apology, so maybe it is time we forgive ourselves of any misconceptions of what happened and continue to live and work with our great ally.
Many Americans today continue to apologize all the time for who and what we are as a country. They seem to be saying to the world, we are ashamed of who we are, and where and why our beautiful country was started. We think America is the most generous of countries in the world. We are still the country where everyone still seems to want to come. We should be proud that our ancestors came from other lands and had all kinds of traditions and beliefs. We are a great mixture of spirited and independent people. Our forefathers, who, could have ever imagined what the world would be like today, still had the foresight to pass on two beautiful documents, The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States, two documents that are still relevant today in the twenty first century!
Fred and Kay Zirger