US President Barack Obama on Friday visited Hiroshima making it the first visit by a sitting American president to the Japanese city the country destroyed by dropping a nuclear bomb in 1945, during the second World War, reported BBC. During a press conference at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Obama said his his visit was "a testament to how even the most painful of divides can be bridged". He was accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"This is an opportunity to honour the memory of all who were lost during World War II. It's a chance to reaffirm our commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a [world] where nuclear weapons would no longer be necessary," Obama had said before visiting the city.
"Seventy-one 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. Let all the souls here rest in peace; For we shall not repeat the evil," the US president said addressing the media at the memorial park, according to CNN.
The kin of victims of the deadly attack reacted to Obama's visit. "I want Obama to say 'I'm sorry.' If he does, maybe my suffering will ease. If Obama apologised, I could die and meet my parents in heaven in peace. I can tell them it happened," NDTV reported quoting Eiji Hattori, 73, whose parents and grandparents died in the attack.
However, Obama has made it clear time and again that his trip was meant to honour the victims of the deadly war, and not to apologise for the attack that killed at least 1,40,000 people and wiped out generations, reported The Guardian. “It’s important to recognise that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions, it’s a job of historians to ask questions and examine them. But I know, as somebody who’s now sat in this position for the last seven and half years, that every leader makes very difficult decisions, particularly during wartime,” he told Japanese national broadcaster NHK in an interview.