I was honored to be at the ceremony at the Memorial Peace Park for President Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima and to hear his moving words.
The passage by the President that most moved me was this: “That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago.”
Those are words I will never forget. Evoking images of the horrors of war, of the enduring alliance forged between Americans and Japanese and the good that partnership has brought us and the world, of the striving for a world free from nuclear weapons, all these images are so powerful, but the image that remains vividly with me is that one -- of the simple peace we all seek in our homes, in our lives.
I was also privileged to meet Mr Sunao Tsuboi, the co-leader of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Associations, Mr. Shigeaki Mori, who spent decades identifying American POWs who perished in the bombing, and other special guests with important stories to tell. I felt the indomitable power of the human spirit.
I am so grateful for the very warm welcome in Hiroshima, and was moved as well by the positive spirit of the thousands of visitors who streamed into the Park after President Obama and Prime Minister Abe had departed, who came to share in the moment well into the warm and clear night. Those too are images I will not forget. And finally I reflect on the beautiful image of the paper cranes that the President folded and offered to the Museum.