Letter to the Editor

Revisionist history

Friday, December 10, 2021

I talked to a grade school student the other day who said they learned about Pearl Harbor in class. I was glad about that. But then I was disturbed when the student confidently said that while Japan needed natural resources but was wrong to attack the U.S., the U.S. was wrong to use the atomic bomb.

Now I have no problem with discussing the controversial nature of that decision, and I know that many have thought there might have been a better way to end the war, but that is hardly a foregone conclusion. I told the student that millions of civilian and military casualties were predicted if an invasion of the Japanese homeland were undertaken because Japan was ruled by a fanatically militaristic and brutal regime, so the U.S. felt it was regrettably necessary to bring the carnage to a stop and save lives. The student said they didn't know that.

The conversation still bothers me because I thought that kind of revisionist history had not reached into the inner heartland. Looks like I was naive.

Mark Wilms, Royal