World War II Document #8

 

I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb.

 

Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government. But we knew tha tour enemies were on the search for it. We know now how close they were to finding it. And we know the disaster which would come to this nation, and to all peaceful nations, to all civilizations, if they found it first.

 

This is why we felt compelled to undertake the long and uncertain and costly labor of discovery and production.

 

Having found the bomb, we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned the pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands of young Americans.

 

We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japans power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us.

 

Source: Harry S. Truman, radio address [August 1945]