On May 27, President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima, Japan, where 71 years earlier, on Aug. 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress, dropped the first nuclear bomb used in warfare. It killed between 90,000 and 146,000 people.
I will never forget what I saw when I visited Hiroshima in 1970. It was the shadow image of a person’s buttocks burned on a granite step by the heat of the bomb. This image was the only evidence of his or her existence.
Obama used the occasion of his visit to express the sentiment that nuclear weapons are a great threat to humanity and that they need to be eliminated entirely. At the same time, the U.S. government is setting out to spend $1 trillion modernizing the existing stockpile of weapons. Which is it, eliminate or modernize?