Hiroshima


The best teacher I ever had was Paul Peca, my sixth grade teacher. He encouraged us to think, create, debate about things in the world. He was a staunch Republican, yet encouraged a mock election in class in which Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater for President, 13-3.

One of the issues we debated was whether the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 and the Nagasaki bombing a couple days later were justified. Mr. Peca said yes; it shortened the war. Most of us said no; it was brutalizing, with health effects far beyond the immediate event.

I haven’t really changed my position, and I suspect neither has Mr. Peca, who we loved so much that some of us walked 12 miles roundtrip one day to visit him the next year.
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