The White House is trying to tamp down opposition from World War II veterans who view President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima as an apology for using the atomic bomb in Japan to end the war.
Obama’s National Security advisor, Susan Rice, recently met with veterans groups to explain the historic visit, arguing that Obama was trying to “honor the memory of all who lost their lives during World War II,” according to an NSC spokesperson.
Rice also appeared on a Sunday show to discuss the visit, but refused to say whether or not she or the president agreed with the decision to use the nuclear bomb in World War II.
“I’m not going to give you my historian’s judgment on the decision,” she said when asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria whether it was the correct decision.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also addressed veterans who opposed Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, praising them as the “greatest generation.”
“The ability of our nations to cooperate and to coordinate, and to strengthen our alliance, is good for the United States and bodes well for the future,” he said. “And I think there’s a large portion of even World War II veterans who may have risked their lives fighting Japanese soldiers in World War II who understand the potential that exists, and understands the argument that the President has made.”