Enola Gay

Everyone who plays a different role in a situation has their own version of the story. The controversy of the Enola Gay illustrates how these different versions conflict as groups struggle to have their version be known as the “official story.” When the Enola Gay was displayed in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 1995, the exhibit received criticism from veterans and politicians. They believed that Japan was being portrayed as innocent rather than an aggressor in World War II. The Enola Gay brought conflict once more in 2003, when it was to have a special exhibit once more. Rather than show the Enola Gay in context with all of its history and controversy, the museum chose to simply show the Enola Gay as a piece of technology (a more in situ approach). This time the Smithsonian was accused of not giving enough historical background, which many believe to show indifference to its victims. The Smithsonian has clearly had a difficult time displaying the Enola Gay without having a biased exhibit. On one hand, there is the group who view the actions of the Enola Gay as a heroic act to protect the United States. The other contingency sees the atomic bomb as a horrible aggressive act against humanity. This leaves the Smithsonian in the tricky position of trying to present the facts without seeming to lean to one side or another, since this is a highly debated historical issue.