Professor Marty Sherwin has written on op-ed about President Obama's visit to Hiroshima for the Kyodo News, a major Japanese news service. Sherwin is the author of A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies, among other works.
Here is the beginning of the editorial:
Carved into the frieze above the entrance to the National Archives building in Washington are words that encourage a visit by President Obama to Hiroshima: "What is Past is Prologue." History, it suggests, can neither be erased nor forgotten; it is a persistent influence on our lives. It can liberate or imprison us. How we choose to remember the past determines how we live in the future. The philosopher George Santayana's famous dictum: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it," is quoted often. But, ironically, its inverse is equally prophetic: Those who remember the past too well are condemned to repeat it. If we enable history to sustain a hateful past it will doom us to repetition.
The editorial is available in full at the Kyodo News website.
May 16, 2016