Hiroshima: Two men who suffered horrific injuries in the world’s first nuclear strike seven decades ago came face-to-face Friday with the present-day commander-in-chief of the country that launched the attack. And one of them got a hug.
Shigeaki Mori, 79, appeared overwhelmed with emotion as he shook hands with US President Barack Obama after a highly-charged ceremony in Hiroshima.
“The president gestured as if he was going to give me a hug, so we hugged,” Mori said of the embrace that was broadcast around the world. That very human moment between an old man and one of the world’s most powerful people came after Obama delivered a soaring speech that touched on the horrors of the American atomic bomb that obliterated Hiroshima.
“71 years ago, death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” Obama told a specially-invited audience at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. “Why did we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead,” he said.
Mori was a young boy when he was blown into a river by the force of the huge blast on August 6, 1945. He saw dead and dying people everywhere, many with their innards hanging out, and says he was only able to escape the horror by clambering over the barely-breathing bodies all around him....