Seven decades ago, President Harry Truman — newly sworn into office upon President Franklin Roosevelt’s death — faced a choice no commander in chief should have to face.
Does he deploy a bomb he knows will kill tens of thousands of civilians but possibly spare the cost of many more tens of thousands of soldiers and sailors — on both sides — in a costly ground war?
The president chose to drop The Bomb. It was a nuclear weapon that exploded over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.
It ushered in the nuclear age. A second bomb would detonate over Nagasaki three days later.
And about a week after that, the Japanese Empire waved the white flag of surrender. World War II came to an end.
Knowing what we know now about The Bomb, would the president have done it all over again? Truman said he would. He never wavered in his belief that he made the right call.
I happen to agree with him.
My late father, who was among the forces garrisoned in the Philippines when the bombs fell, could have been among those who died in the effort to subdue Japan using conventional means. Do I know that to be true? Of course not. He was a sailor who’d seen his share of combat in the European theater before being reassigned to the Pacific.
It never came to that, of course. Dad came home, got married and produced his family.
Because I am here today, I say without reservation: God bless President Truman.