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This is one of seven papers written by my 9th grade students describing how they feel about President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima and the words he spoke there.  I will be posting the remaining six over the weekend.  This Independence Day weekend is an excellent time to post these kids’ thoughts — to remind us that America can find greatness not in making war, but in working for peace.  

I was so surprised to hear the news that President Obama visited Hiroshima.

For 71 years, successive American presidents avoided coming to Hiroshima during their term. Maybe they wanted to come but they were not able to because many Americans think it was a natural choice to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So, I thought President Obama had courage to decide to be the first.

Actually I didn’t expect this event. He won the Nobel prize for peace in 2009 for the speech he made in Prague about reducing nuclear weapons. When I heard that speech I thought he was only speaking ‘formally’ and did not really mean what he said. When I heard his Hiroshima speech, I realized my thinking was actually wrong, he really does care about ending nuclear weapons.

I hope President Obama will come to Hiroshima or Nagasaki again and tell future generations of Americans what a horrible thing happened to those two poor cities.

ANJU S. (14) – Ryogoku, Tokyo

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