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  • Lawrence Lefcort

Presidential Descendants Add Prayers to Flame of Hope

Imagine meeting the direct descendants of past U.S. Presidents like Ulysses S. Grant, Harry S. Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, Lyndon B. Johnson, and James Monroe. 

And imagine having the grandson of President Harry Truman tell you stories of how his grandpa took away his BB gun while he was trying to shoot soda cans in the President’s living room.

That is where the Flame of Hope found itself on June 8, 2024, by invitation of Clifton Truman Daniel, eldest grandson of President Harry S. Truman and Vice-President of The Society of Presidential Descendants.

The Society of Presidential Descendants provides an opportunity for descendants of United States presidents to share camaraderie, promote educational opportunities, and award book prizes recognizing books published about the presidency.

Mr. Truman Daniel is one of six descendants of World War II leaders who will participate in HOPE 80, a global peace pilgrimage during the summer of 2025 to mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The descendants will carry the Flame of Hope as they travel from Hiroshima to Nagasaki and then from Washington, D.C., to the United Nations in New York, calling for an end to war and for unity among all people.

“My grandfather was President when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said Mr. Truman Daniel. “He did not want to make the decision in the first place, and he would not want it to happen again.”

During a tour of the famed Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, other descendants of past U.S. Presidents added their wishes and prayers for the world into the Flame of Hope.

“Ulysses S. Grant desperately wanted peace, equality for black people, and justice for Native Americans in his lifetime,” said his great-great-grandson Ulysses Grant. “I would like to reiterate those dreams and put all of that intention into the Flame of Hope.”

The Importance of the Flame of Hope

People feel deeply divided. Our world faces environmental, social, economic, and political crises. People are yearning for connection to their true nature, other people, and deeper meaning. 

Flame of Hope activities offer practical solutions to heal the abyss of division, bringing forth a brighter future with generosity in thought and action. Our projects present a new way of living to unlock deep inner wisdom that liberates the warm light within. This is the solid basis for real and lasting change that our world needs. 

Opening Up a New Page of History

The HOPE 80 journey will start from Hiroshima, the symbolic city of peace, in the joyful Flower Peace Festival. The descendants will then set off for Nagasaki by bicycle to appeal for peace in stops, enjoying new friendships and activities together. They include:

  • Hidetoshi Tojo, great-grandson of Hideki Tojo, former Prime Minister of Japan

  • Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

  • Jennifer Teege, granddaughter of Nazi SS Officer Ammon Göth.

  • Duncan Sandys, great-grandson of Prime Minister Winston Churchill

  • Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of President Harry S. Truman

“Yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend.” – ancient Samurai quote –

In the United States, the descendants will begin their journey from Washington, DC, on August 6, when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. They will arrive at their goal, United Nations Headquarters, on August 9, Nagasaki Day, the date that the last atomic bomb was used to destroy human beings.

Descendants whose ancestors were once enemies will travel together and become today’s friends, hoping to act as living symbols, like the Flame of Hope, to create a new and brighter page of human history.  


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