Letter to the Editor

Truman's bold decision to end war

To the editor:

Nearly 61 years ago, on Sept. 2, 1945, the Japanese government surrendered on the battleship Missouri ending World War II. The war was brought to an end by the heroic decision of President Truman to use the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945 at Hiroshima and later at Nagasaki. \

Several weeks ago Robert Hamblin wrote an op-ed column critical of Truman's decision. Hamblin called it "cruel and heartless." This is typical of the "blame America first" crowd. Truman's decision shortened the war by as much as a year. The planned invasion of Japan might have resulted in 500,000 American casualties and millions of Japanese casualties. Seventeen million Asians had already died in the war.

Historian Roy Morris Jr. described the war crimes trials of Japanese officials: "From the Rape of Nanking in 1937, when a quarter of a million died; the Bataan Death March; the forced labor camps and sex slave "comfort women" in Korea, the witnesses described a leering, sadistic policy of cruelty that had few counterparts even among the Nazi abuses in Europe."

Truman's decision ended this brutal war and saved lives. Hamblin should apologize to every World War II veteran and especially those whose lives where saved by Truman's decision. My father, Aaron Helderman, was an Army staff sergeant in 1945 stationed in Hawaii. He was training to be part of the invasion of Japan. It's possible he would have been one of those 500,000 casualties if the invasion would have been necessary. I share his admiration of Harry Truman.