Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. Res. 247

Commemorating President Truman's Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and Honoring the Crews Who Carried Out the Missions

Argument in favor

The decision to use atomic bombs against Japan helped bring World War II to an earlier end, and saved the lives of countless Americans. It is one of the most significant parts of our history, and those involved should be honored.

Scott's Opinion
···
08/09/2015
I'm a historian by academic training. The main thing for me is to avoid any anachronistic hindsight. We need to judge the decisions of historical leaders through the prism of their time, with an understanding of what they objectively new, probably knew, and ought to have known. From that perspective, I don't see how we can fault President Truman. Japan refused to surrender unconditionally prior to dropping the second atomic bomb. They showed a fanatical will to fight to the death, inventing the kamikaze pilots who are arguably the first organized suicide bombers in history. Their soldiers would intentionally wound themselves to prevent their own ability to run away, escape, or even surrender to American forces on island after island. Imagining an invasion of Japan proper would have been an unprecedented bloodbath for both the Americans, allies, and the Japanese civilians that could've climbed into the millions. Instead, two cities; 200,000 Japanese casualties. No American casualties. And don't forget, it took a second nuclear bomb to get Japan to surrender. One wasn't enough.
Like (44)
Follow
Share
John's Opinion
···
08/10/2015
Commemorating, yes. Celebrating, no. Japan was given more than enough time to surrender. They refused and gave Truman little choice - put hundreds of thousands of American AND at least twice as many Japanese lives at risk in a troop and traditional bomb assault or drop the A bombs and end the lives of 200 thousand Japanese lives. It was a gut wrenching decision, but there is little doubt it was the right one and he and the men that conducted the missions deserve to be honored.
Like (18)
Follow
Share
Eric's Opinion
···
08/10/2015
The controversial decision saved thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives throughout Asia, the pacific and in the U.S. Let's not try to rewrite history otherwise.
Like (11)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

There is still much debate about whether the U.S. needed to use the atomic bombs to force Japan to surrender. Dredging up such a controversial piece of our history in this way will only inflame old tensions internationally.

Christopher's Opinion
···
08/09/2015
Though I think Pres. Truman was in the right to have used the bomb, I don't think Congress should be passing resolutions that commemorates death.
Like (70)
Follow
Share
USAFCCF's Opinion
···
08/09/2015
No! Commemorate the end of the war, VJ Day. But to celebrate the killing of thousands is wrong
Like (48)
Follow
Share
cooktravis's Opinion
···
08/09/2015
This bill is useless and just consumes time. Also why should we commemorate the people and person that carried out this attack that killed roughly 200,000 innocent people? This was not a dignifying stunt, this was just a quick way to get it over with at the cost of many innocent lives.
Like (14)
Follow
Share

What is Senate Bill S. Res. 247?

This resolution commemorates and honors the actions of President Truman and the crews of the B-29 Superfortresses known as the ‘Enola Gay’ and ‘Bockscar’ in using the atomic bomb to bring World War II to an end.

Specifically, the resolution praises President Truman for making the tactical decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan in the hopes of avoiding the need for the U.S. and its allies to invade the Japanese mainland to end the war.

The crew of the Enola Gay was commanded by Colonel Paul Tibbets, Jr. and dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Major Charles Sweeney commanded the crew of the Bockscar, which dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Impact

Those who wish to honor the actions of President Truman and the crews of the Enola Gay and Bockscar, and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Res. 247

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: The decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan was made in light of increasing casualty rates among American soldiers as the war in the Pacific progressed, which led to a ghastly estimate of probable casualties for a prospective invasion of the Japanese mainland. There had been 17,000 and 31,000 American casualties on the islands of Leyte and Luzon, respectively, during the campaign to liberate the Philippine. These figures were relatively light compared to what followed on Iwo Jima, where there were about 26,000 U.S. casualties, and at Okinawa — nearly 47,000 Americans had been killed or wounded between April and July 11, 1945.

Estimates for the initial phase of the invasion of the Japanese home islands were set at 50,800 for the first 30 days of the campaign, and over 105,050 for Kyushu alone. The Joint War Plans Committee projected that about 220,000 American casualties would be the minimum for an invasion of Kyushu and the Tokyo Plain region of Honshu if both were required to force a Japanese surrender. This projection was comparable to the total casualties sustained during the campaign through the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, plus the Normandy campaign and the Battle of the Bulge in the European theater.

The Japanese had sought to negotiate an end to the war prior to the use of the atomic bomb. But their leadership was divided, and unwilling to accept the terms of unconditional surrender that the Allies insisted upon, opting instead for extending the war to weaken the Allies negotiating position in the eventual peace talks. So it continued through July and early August 1945.

On August 6, 1945 the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing between 90,000 and 166,000 people. Then on August 9 — the same day that Russia entered the war in the Pacific by invading Manchuria — the atomic bombing at Nagasaki was carried out at Nagasaki by the crew of the Bockscar, killing between 39,000 and 80,000 people.

Following an attempted coup by Japanese military leaders who wanted the war to continue, the emperor announced Japan’s surrender to the the U.S. and its Allies on August 15.


Of Note: President Obama visited Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park in May 2016, and while he didn't apologize for America's use of the atomic bombs against Japan, he did call for "a world without nuclear weapons." Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Insomnia Cured Here)

Official Title

A resolution commemorating and honoring the actions of President Harry S. Truman and the crews of the Enola Gay and Bockscar in using the atomic bomb to bring World War II to an end.

simple resolution Progress


  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedAugust 5th, 2015
    I'm a historian by academic training. The main thing for me is to avoid any anachronistic hindsight. We need to judge the decisions of historical leaders through the prism of their time, with an understanding of what they objectively new, probably knew, and ought to have known. From that perspective, I don't see how we can fault President Truman. Japan refused to surrender unconditionally prior to dropping the second atomic bomb. They showed a fanatical will to fight to the death, inventing the kamikaze pilots who are arguably the first organized suicide bombers in history. Their soldiers would intentionally wound themselves to prevent their own ability to run away, escape, or even surrender to American forces on island after island. Imagining an invasion of Japan proper would have been an unprecedented bloodbath for both the Americans, allies, and the Japanese civilians that could've climbed into the millions. Instead, two cities; 200,000 Japanese casualties. No American casualties. And don't forget, it took a second nuclear bomb to get Japan to surrender. One wasn't enough.
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    Though I think Pres. Truman was in the right to have used the bomb, I don't think Congress should be passing resolutions that commemorates death.
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    No! Commemorate the end of the war, VJ Day. But to celebrate the killing of thousands is wrong
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    Commemorating, yes. Celebrating, no. Japan was given more than enough time to surrender. They refused and gave Truman little choice - put hundreds of thousands of American AND at least twice as many Japanese lives at risk in a troop and traditional bomb assault or drop the A bombs and end the lives of 200 thousand Japanese lives. It was a gut wrenching decision, but there is little doubt it was the right one and he and the men that conducted the missions deserve to be honored.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is useless and just consumes time. Also why should we commemorate the people and person that carried out this attack that killed roughly 200,000 innocent people? This was not a dignifying stunt, this was just a quick way to get it over with at the cost of many innocent lives.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    It best be forgotten. While maybe a necessary action it's still regrettable.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    The controversial decision saved thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives throughout Asia, the pacific and in the U.S. Let's not try to rewrite history otherwise.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    In spite of the circumstances, the decision to use atomic weapons on cities, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of civilians, is not an event that we should celebrate. Whether or not is was necessary to end the war, whether or not it saved thousands of American lives, it was an horrific act.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a completely loathsome resolution to introduce. Shame on you, Senator Isakson
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I don't believe it is appropriate to commemorate the mass killing of over 100,000 people. In that time, the decision 'may' have been appropriate, but is something that should never be repeated.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I don't exactly think this was a moment of heroism for this country. It happened, I agree it was the right call, but it killed a lot of people.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    If Truman hadn't dropped the bomb, a million more American soldiers would have been lost. The use of atomic weapons sent a clear message to the world and ended the war immediately. We should praise this decision and honor the men who fought to end the reign of the Japanese Empire.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    But quietly so as not to strain Japan and American relations... And No pomp or ceremony in August when Japan mourns.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Rather than commemorate the horrible decision to bomb Japan, we should be condemning this bombing for introducing the world to Nuclear Weapons. Not only do we have a chance to get history right and admit a mistake. We have a chance to do the right thing for the people of Japan.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes! And it's about time! They did a great service to this country! Perhaps to the whole world! Imperial Japan at that time was a deadly scourge upon the planet, like Nazi Germany, the Ebola virus, and Islamic State, and others of this century. It's strange how many of the same people who condemn the use of atomic weapons to stop Japan from killing more Americans and our allies wouldn't hesitate to undergo chemotherapy if they had cancer, knowing full well that such treatments, for the most part, do not discriminate between healthy cells and cancerous cells. I wish there were no such thing as "collateral damage" in a war, but it would seem to be impossible to avoid it. Still, I do not see how we can allow that apparent impossibility to stop us from wiping evil off the face of the Earth. To be perfectly honest, however, the thought today of a nuclear war erupting terrifies me! I will never in my life forget what it was like to live through the Cuban missile crisis! Far too many of our enemies have nuclear weapons or are close to having them. Obama should have been impeached just for the Iran nuclear deal alone, although there are many other reasons as well! As for Obama's proposed "no first use" nuclear policy, which essentially would say that the U.S. should never be the first to use a nuclear weapon, if that had been in effect during WW II, we might very well have been the ones surrendering, instead of the Japanese!
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    It's still not certain that this was necessary to end the war. Even if it was, it was a terrible thing and definitely not something to celebrate. This would be seen as a callous lack of concern for the pain and suffering they caused.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The bombs didn't even force Japan to surrender. Foreign Policy ran an excellent piece summarizing the arguments. Essentially, the U.S. And Japan agreed to say the atom bomb ended the war though the real cause was the soviet unions declaration of war against Japan
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    No! Enough with war! Let's advance our society and learn from our past transgressions and decisions to make a better future for us all. We should not be celebrating a loss of life at that level, or any level.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Threats and bullying don't work. If they did, we wouldn't have to use the same tactics over and over again.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    I feel that all the men and women should be honored from that time frame. Honor the crews in their hometown/states. The military came home to insults and no recognition. Korean and Vietnam Veterans were treated like dirt or ignored. It has taken all these years for the military to be recognized during the time they served. The previous military personnel understand what our current military are going through. The military has been under major stress for decades. Let's honor all!
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE