President Barack Obama made a historic visit to Japan last week. He became the very first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima, one of only two locations ever to experience the nightmare scenario that results from an atomic bomb being dropped on a civilian population. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which occurred on August 6th and August 9th, 1945 respectively, killed between 130,000 and 250,000 people.
They took place because the US sought to force the Empire of Japan into surrender, ending World War II for good. As it turned out, the ensuing devastation meant that the Japanese surrendered on August 15th, 1945, and an instrument of surrender was signed just over two weeks later on September 2nd. Witness President Obama take a significant diplomatic step, and hear him speak about how the events of 1945 should always remain a lesson, for both present and future generations: