Topic: World War II
One day, my dad stopped to talk to the elderly lady across the street, who is left-leaning politically. The subject of the Atom Bomb came up, and she told him how terrible it was that the US bombed Japan in World War II.
My dad replied that he did not regret dropping the bomb, because, as he put it, "I am one of the two million."
You see, my dad was a crewman on board the battleship USS Alabama in 1945-46. He is shy about his naval service, judging that he did not do anything compared to the many who took real risk in the war. The Alabama was patrolling off the West Coast, and did not see actual combat. My dad, who later attended college on the G.I. Bill, says he got much more out of his service than he ever put in.
However, as the US fleet encroached upon Japan, they were increasingly hammered by kamikaze attacks that sank hundreds of ships. Since the Japanese were refusing to surrender, regularly fighting to the death, and even training their women to fight with sharpened sticks, our government estimated that a conventional invasion would cost one million lives on each side. Other estimates were higher. My dad had a well-founded expectation of being involved if such a major invasion took place.
After the war, many Japanese thanked US troops for ending the war quickly. Many of them were also "one of the two million."