Setting foot in Hiroshima in early August for the first time, Robert Croonquist expected to feel sorrow for the massive number of lives lost in the U.S. atomic bombing of the city 70 years ago.

Instead, the 67-year-old American could not help rejoicing at seeing the familiar faces of atomic bomb survivors he has worked with in a project that began in 2008 to get them to share their dreadful experiences and hardships with high school students in New York.

Nevertheless, the project led by his nongovernmental group, dubbed Hibakusha Stories, is ending large-scale visits to schools this year. That means there will be fewer chances for American schoolchildren to hear survivors' stories firsthand.