Letters to a Lost Soldier: World leaders meet to end war, July, 1945

Dear Daddy, (I originally wrote in July, 1945)
Primer Minister Churchill was defeated in the British elections and Clement Attlee took his place at the Potsdam Conference. President Truman, China’s leader Chiang Kai-shek, and now Primer Minister Attlee issued the Potsdam Declaration. It calls for Japan’s unconditional surrender. The world leaders agree it’s time for world peace instead of world war.
But until the Japs surrender, we are firebombing that country with all of our might. President Truman told Stalin that we have tested an atomic bomb, but newscasters imply that “Uncle Joe” already knows because of his spies. At home, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote in her column, “My Day,” about a soldiers’ art exhibition in Washington, DC.
She said that “all art expression is a release from strain.” Before the war you worked for Uncles Eddie and Lester in their wholesale floral supply business and you said you enjoyed arranging flowers. I hope you can perform some creative work after the war. It may help you get over your experience as a Prisoner of War in Nazi Germany. You can create happiness with flowers for you and your customers. Your brothers love you and you get along and laugh a lot.
You are friends. It encourages me to dream that my sister and I could be friends after the war is over and everyone else is at peace. I want to ask Mrs. Roosevelt how she raised six children, perform the duties of First Lady when her husband was alive, and write her daily column, among other activities.
The newspaper reprinted the story she wrote after Pearl Harbor Day. She said, “Because our nation has lived up to the rules of civilization, it will probably take us a few days to catch up with our enemy, but no one in this country will doubt the ultimate outcome. None of us can help but regret the choice which Japan has made, but having made it, she has taken on a coalition of enemies she must underestimate.” Mrs. Roosevelt is optimistic about our country, as is Mr. Truman, who said, “We are not fighting for conquest.
We want peace and prosperity for the world as a whole. We want to see the time come when we can do the things in peace that we have been able to do in war. If we can put this tremendous machine of ours to work for peace, we can look forward to the greatest age in the history of mankind. This is what we propose to do.” I’m glad he’s our President! Mrs. Roosevelt’s husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, authorized the development of the atomic bomb when he was President of the USA. He wanted our country to have that weapon before Germany, Russia or Japan developed it first. T
he question is: Will President Truman drop the atomic bomb on Japan? Or, do we keep firebombing Japan and then invade it? How many lives will be lost on both sides? Cousin Raymond Clamage was shot down by the Nazis when flying a plan over Austria and Cousin Jordan Piser was killed fighting for the United States Marines at Guadalcanal. I don’t want you to die in an invasion of Japan. If our military drops the atomic bomb on Japan, will there be retribution against our country by other people who develop atomic bombs?
The leaders feel that bombing Japan is just retribution for Pearl Harbor and the invasion of Nanking, China by the Japanese. Will unleashing the atomic bomb be an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or worse? I try not to worry when I am in bed at night, wanting to sleep. I hope the Japanese government surrenders before you are reassigned to finish your service there. Then we can stop firebombing them and forget about an invasion.
I pray we don’t have to drop the atomic bomb on them if they won’t surrender. I learned in kindergarten that we were supposed to talk things over instead of fighting. Are we talking with the Japanese Emperor and other leaders? I hope so.