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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.  

President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima became a big topic in Japan. I think it was an important sign of the mutual understanding between America and Japan. I can tell you the reasons for my opinion of his speech.

The biggest point was that it was the first time an American president visited either of the two cities that were destroyed by atom bombs. Also, in the very first part of his speech he expressed his condolence to the people who died there. He didn’t actually say any apologies about the nuclear attack, but I felt his sympathy.

He also spoke of specific examples of hibakusha (atomic bomb victims). I think he tried to show us his thoughtfulness and create a close feeling with those people. I guess it must be difficult for an American president to interact with Japanese hibakusha, I was impressed by his amicable gesture.

President Obama came to Hiroshima and he prayed for peace all over the world. We mustn’t forget this meaningful occurrence. I want to always keep his words in my heart.

CHIKA M. (14) – Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo