The Rev. William Sloan Coffin, pacifist and professional bleeding heart, abhors the terrible destruction and death that we visited upon Germany and Japan and our use of the atomic bomb in World War II. Others seem to be supporting that same sentiment at this 50th anniversary of the end of that war.
That thinking makes my blood boil, as it does in most of us World War II veterans who sacrificed so much to save the world; and save the world we did.
Who was it that plunged Europe into war, destroying countries, and killing millions of people, including seven million Jews in horrible concentration camps? Who was it that invaded China and southeast Asia, destroying and killing people with abandon? Who was it that brought us into the war with a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that destroyed much of our fleet and killed many Americans?
The Germans and Japanese were aggressive, brutal people. The proposition put forth by some that the people were all right, the leaders were bad, is like saying the murderer’s feet don’t pull the trigger that kills someone, the hands do. So, only the hands should be dealt with. In an aggressive nation everyone is to blame.
The Germans and Japanese deserved to die just as quickly and in numbers necessary to bring about their defeat. If the destruction of one more city and the dropping of the A-bomb saved one American life and shortened the war one day then it was worth it. Too bad we didn’t have the A-bomb sooner to have saved some lives in the defeat of Germany.
Do the bleeding hearts think for one minute that if Japan or Germany had developed the A-bomb first that they wouldn’t have used it on us?
Too much time has obviously gone by since World War II. Too many people at this point in time are too ignorant of events before and during World War II to be appreciative of the great sacrifice made by America and its allies to literally and actually save the world from an unimaginable fate.
So, I and many of my fellow World War II veterans have only this to say to the bleeding hearts who bemoan our treatment of Germany and Japan in World War II: you should have been there!
Consider too that only the fear of nuclear weaponry, whose effects were so clearly demonstrated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has kept the world from a major war for 50 years.
With pride in what we did for our country and for the world, and without one qualm concerning how we did it, we celebrate joyfully at this 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, remembering all the while with respect and gratitude all those who gave their all and are not here to celebrate with us.
Jasper Cates lives in Cutler.