The Boston Globe approves of a new $21 million national park celebrating the technological success of the development of the atomic bomb, but fails to mention that 200,000 Japanese perished in the atomic attacks (“A history lesson for all,” Editorial, Dec. 7).
Many Americans would be interested to know that the two top US military officials at the time, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Douglas MacArthur, dismissed the military necessity of dropping the bomb.
Visit the current museum at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the three sites that would be included in the new park; it celebrates the bomb and the technology, but gives short shrift to the devastating consequences of the bomb for Japan and the world. Replicas of the bomb on display are a statement of military superiority. It is all about exceptionalism, and revealing limited capacity for reflection and compassion.
In the debate before Congress there was zero evidence that the Manhattan Project National Park proposal arose from any new thinking. As a matter of fact, congressional proponents did not even wish to debate the issue; that is because the atomic bomb park is about a narrow certainty: “Look what we did!” Indeed.