Regarding the Aug. 9 Point of View “70 years after Nagasaki, a long-needed apology for evil” and subsequent letters: In response to those who would justify our nuclear bombing of Japan’s cities with its millions of civilian deaths, we must understand what it means to be a civilian.
We, our relatives and friends, mothers, fathers, grandparents and everyone else except our military personnel are civilians. Still, we seem to shrug our shoulders at the daily reports of civilian casualties.
The Japanese civilians were undergoing severe near-starvation conditions as their military’s war effort was failing. Prior to our nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, America’s traditional bombers had already destroyed Tokyo, resulting in more civilian deaths than the nuclear bombs later caused.
The conditions in Japan were such that they would not be able to continue their war much longer. But the United States was unwilling to wait. We were anxious to prove to the world, and to Russia particularly, that we had this super weapon.
So the decision was to drop the bomb, no matter how many civilians, civilians like us, would pay the horrific price.
Neither atomic bomb nor invasion would have been needed to end the war.