71 years ago, on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city, and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself. Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder the terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women, and children. Thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held in prison.
We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations, and the alliances that we form, must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own who hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.
We must change our mindset about war itself to prevent conflict through diplomacy, and strive to end conflicts after they’ve begun.