Week 22: Hero – Barack Obama

by Jackie_South on June 3, 2016

US_HeroThis week, the US president wins our regular award for heroism

We will miss Barry O when his term of office ends in less than eight months time. Whilst he has occasionally stumbled, by and large he has been a class act.

Last week was another demonstration of that: during his tour of Japan and Vietnam, he visited Hiroshima. 71 years after the 33rd president ordered the dropping of the Little Boy atomic bomb on the city, the 44th president visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

He did not apologise for the bomb (always an unlikely prospect, given the credit the bomb is given in ending the Second World War) but he did lay a wreath, hug 79 year-old survivor Shigeaeki Mori and pledge himself to nuclear de-proliferation.

Eiji Hattori, another survivor, said “I didn’t think he’d go that far and say so much. I feel I’ve been saved somewhat … For me, it was more than enough.”

This was a president paying his respects and getting it pitch perfect. His predecessor would not have, and it seems unlikely that either of his potential successors could have either.

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