August 6, 1945, 8:15 the 1st Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. August 9, 1945, 11:02 a 2nd Atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. August 15, 1945, Japan had surrendered and therefore lost WW2 September 2, 1945 WW2 officially ended. But back in the US how did they react to their victory?
On August 14, 1945, 7:00 president Truman announced the unconditional surrender that Japan had agreed to it caused this was met with an eruption of happiness and joy that finally WW2 was over one of the deadliest wars was finally over.On September 1 Truman would address the American people by radio his message would also be part of the ceremonies of the official surrendering aboard the U.S.S Missouri. So Truman’s speech the tone he uses in it, the way he portraits the Japanese it has the power to dictate what Americans take away from the war and how they feel about it he makes it clear early on his speech that Americans will not forget they will not forget Pearl Harbor or the “The evil done by the Japanese warlords” and he follows that up with a reassurance of some sort saying that they had been weakened and that they would not be able to do much harm. He continues by talking about all the Americans hero soldiers that had died during the war and how did the war Americans children and women walk in fear, fear of their husbands, son, fathers, and brothers not coming home. Fear that there might be an attack but now they no longer had to worry about that. And he said something to me that was telling he said ” This is a victory of more than arms alone. This is a victory of liberty over tyranny.” This quote implies that this victory was them winning this war it’s more than them being the bigger country showing their force and advance machinery they won this war for the greater good whatever they may have done during the war doesn’t matter because the end justifies the means. Finally to end his speech Truman declares Sunday, September 2nd, 1945 VJ day the formal surrender of the Japanese and then he proclaims a new beginning a “new era”a new and better world of cooperation, of peace and international goodwill and cooperation. A time filled with “peace and prosperity”
An atomic bomb is extremely powerful and destructive and now we argue about if the bomb should have been dropped if its ethical if the number of deaths was worth it, in the end, the to win the war, does the end really justify the means? But we must remember one thing we now have all the facts were looking back and its easier to judge we hear the statistic of how many people died we know its gruesome we know that some of the acts committed were heinous but we have no emotional connection to the war there is no way we can fully understand the feelings of the people at that time. Imagine your an American and you hear about all these atrocious acts the Japanese are committing like in Nanking, China the rape of thousands of women the wicked things they did to children then you hear about the comfort women young women as young as 16-year-olds forced to be a prostitute. But wait you hear about the barbaric contest the Japanese are having how many people can you behead with a sword? your hearing about all these things and maybe your brother, son, a husband is fighting in the war and thousands of civilians and soldiers are dying every day just death everywhere, along with just hellish acts that are being done everywhere. I’m not saying that the U.S was completely exempt from everything that was going on they also did some inhuman things but as an America living the U.S all you hear about is the evil things that they’re doing and you basically have this villainous portrait of them not to mention that you have family that are fighting in the front lines. So you can see but maybe not agree with why Americans supported the dropping of the atomic bombs but you would see why they would support something so destructive.
Now most Americans supported the dropping of the bomb that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have any emotions they too were shocked and stupefied at the amount of damage one bomb can cause. There was also a small minority that didn’t approve of the bombings and compared them to the ” Nazi Extermination Camps”. Many were uneasy about the number of deaths most of which were civilians. But most Americans were so happy that the war was finally over that they didn’t pay much attention to the number of deaths or how calamitous the bombs were. But later on years after the bombing years after the surrender Americans would start to feel shameful about what they did during the war.
Americans not only mostly supported the bombings they had celebrations on VJ day which was September 2, 1945, the day the Japanese formally surrendered. They had celebrations in New York on Time Square. VJ day was a day filled with relief that it was finally all over. But as time went on VJ celebrations started dying because it was thought to be disrespectful to Japanese American and people who were victims of the Atomic bomb.
Lastly, WW2 has shown us how human technology can be used for things that can kill thousands of people in an instance and have lasting effects. It has opened discussions about if they are any morals in war. WW2 has revealed to us that humans are all capable of despicable thing and how we can destroy the world with our own technology. With more and more countries building atomic bombs and advancing machinery to be able to beat the other countries. Have we seen the last of the atomic bomb? Have we learned our lesson?
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