3 facts that show how historic Obama's trip to Hiroshima really will be.

President Obama is visiting Japan at the end of May for the G-7 summit. But his trip's itinerary is already making news around the world.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and President Obama. Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.


The president plans to visit Hiroshima, a city devastated by an atom bomb dropped by the U.S. in 1945.

Photo by Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images.

He hopes his visit on May 27, 2016, will help promote the idea that "a world without nuclear weapons" can be achievable in the decades following his presidency.

Japan honored those lost on Aug. 6, 2015 — the 70th anniversary of the bombings. Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.

His visit is big news, especially when you consider the immeasurable impact America's use of nuclear weapons had — not only on Japan, but on the entire world.

Here are three reasons why Obama's trip to Hiroshima is a big deal:

1. Obama will be the very first sitting president to visit Hiroshima.

Naturally, visiting any war memorial as the president of the country that caused the deaths honored at the memorial is a step guaranteed to bring about a few raised eyebrows. So it makes sense that no other sitting U.S. president has done what Obama plans to do.

Last month, Secretary of State John Kerry visited the memorial, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. official to do so. Many saw the move as setting the stage for Obama's visit later this month.

Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

Obama's visit is to honor the lives lost and "not [to] revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II" — a decision still up for heated debate over 70 years later.

2. The atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the only use of nuclear warfare in history.

It's difficult to overstate how much the atomic attacks in Japan shaped global politics in the years following the second world war. The bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki — which were dropped to put an end to a costly conflict in the Pacific, then-president Harry Truman had argued — killed over 200,000 people.

The immediate blast caused thousands of casualties, but the radiation it dispersed resulted in even more deaths and illnessesin the years that followed.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

There's no "question that the bombs opened an era in which the very survival of the human race became hostage to geopolitical disputes," Serge Schmemann wrote for The New York Times. The destruction also manifested in popular TV, film, and music, shaping a generation of artistic anxiety seen throughout the world.

Although President Truman remained confident his decision was the correct one, it's worth noting J. Robert Oppenheimer — a physicist who helped develop the A-bomb — once quoted Hindu scripture in regards to his work: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

3. Obama's symbolic visit highlights a key principle of America's foreign policy under his presidency — a perspective that could shift drastically depending on who the next president is.

Nuclear non-proliferation has been a central theme in Obama's messaging and policymaking throughout the past eight years, and his trip to Hiroshima serves as a "forward-looking vision" to keep that outlook a priority. The next president, however, may have different ideas in mind.

A memorial service is held between both American and Japanese service members on the anniversary of one of World War II's bloodiest battles in March 2015. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump called the Obama administration's Iran Deal — a pact to ensure Iran doesn't acquire nuclear weapons — "one of the worst deals [he's] ever seen negotiated."Trump also suggested countries like Japan and South Korea should obtain their own nuclear weapons — an idea that not only shocked officials in East Asia, shows Trump "doesn't know much about foreign policy," Obama said.

The president's visit to Hiroshima speaks volumes about his thoughts on nuclear weapons only months before a very different world stage could be set by the next American leader.

At its core, Obama's historic trip to Hiroshima serves as an important reminder that innocent lives are lost when we resort to bombs over diplomacy.

"In making this visit, the president will shine a spotlight on the tremendous and devastating human toll of war," Rhodes wrote.

And although Obama is "eternally proud" of the sacrifices of men and women in uniform during World War II, he'll make this visit "knowing that the open recognition of history is essential to understanding our shared past, the forces that shape the world we live in today, and the future that we seek for our children and grandchildren."

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.


True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.