Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff, recently suggested that U.S. nuclear weapons reserves were too large and too expensive to maintain.

Earlier this month, we observed the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. As usual, it passed without fanfare in the United States, but in Japan every year they have a somber memorial.

A friend of mine, the late retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles W. Sweeney, wrote in his biography, “Wars End”: “Unlike Germany, which acknowledges its responsibilities for World War II and for the atrocities it committed during the war, Japan, with the aid of some American historians, persists in the fiction that it (Japan) was the victim of circumstances.”

Col. Charles Tibbetts assigned Sweeney to read the instruments the plane that bombed Hiroshoma.

Three days later, Tibbetts assigned him to command and fly the Nagasaki bombing. Nagasaki was his alternative target, and the last one available.

In his book, Sweeney gives tribute to Tibbetts for allowing him to participate in what at that time was the very secret missions.

After the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a reporter from the U.S. asked a Japanese doctor who lived in Japan what he thought of us using the atomic bombs on his country. His reply: Just be thankful Japan didn’t have the A-bomb first.

I believe the atomic bombings were justified, but I also must add it is my fervent hope and prayer that we never have to use these types of weapons again.

Frank Slason


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