Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

RESPONSIBILITY- a One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Grater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by Pam Elcik
Community Leader, Fairfield, OH

July 10, 2001


On President Harry Truman’s orders, the B-29 Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima August 6, 1945. Another B-29, Bockscar, dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki August 9. The unconditional surrender of Japan followed on August 15. For the next fifty years, however, Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb would be questioned repeatedly, and the retroactive judgment would often be harsh.

Yet few people have understood the concept of responsibility more than the man who made this fateful decision. In an address at the National War College on December 19, 1952 Mr. Truman said, “You know, it’s easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you —

and on my desk I have a motto which says The Buck Stops Here’ — the decision has to be made.” In his farewell address to the American people given in January 1953, President Truman referred to this concept very specifically in asserting that, “The President–whoever he is–has to decide. He cannot pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.”



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.