Doves fly over the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in western Japan on Aug. 6, 2012 during a memorial ceremony to mark the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)
The grandson of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who ordered the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during the end stages of World War II, attended a memorial in Hiroshima for the victims.
Clifton Truman Daniel laid a wreath down at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Saturday for the some 140,000 people who were killed in the nuclear blast. In Nagasaki, 70,000 people were killed in a similar bombing three days later.
“The most impressive thing is that survivors and students and all of us can come together and talk, and they can share their stories,” Daniel was quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as saying.
Daniel is the first member of the Truman family to visit the site. He said his sentiment against nuclear weapons has grown stronger during his trip, The Daily Yomiuri newspaper reported.
“My grandfather, having ordered the use of the weapons, was nonetheless horrified by the destruction they caused and spent a great deal of his presidency trying to make sure that we never used those kinds of weapons again,” he told the Kyodo news agency.
Daniel said, however, that he has not passed judgment on his grandfather’s decision.