We set off from Otsu this morning (7:30 am) bound for Hiroshima. After we got there we went directly to the Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum. Both were very reflective experiences. It was sobering to see all of the devastation that the atomic bomb had on this city.
The Peace Park was absolutely beautiful. Also, it was a well manicured park. The first part of the park includes a building that is the actual building that withstood the atomic bomb. It was very close to the hypocenter where the atomic bomb blasted. Another very touching thing about the park was the memorial to a girl who believed if she created enough paper cranes than she would heal from her injuries from the atomic bomb. However, she died but the memory still lives on today. Many schoolchildren all over Japan make paper cranes and send them to this memorial. It was very sad to see but also very touching to see that she is still being remembered today.
Another part of the park included a flame that will not go out until all the countries of the world destroy their nuclear arsenals. It gives the visitors of the park hope for a better tomorrow. However unlikely it is that all countries will do this is besides the point. It instead represents what happened in Hiroshima and hopes to bear reminder of how much of a toll a nuclear bomb will have on the world. The Atomic Bomb Museum was very graphic. It showed the charred remains of bodies stacked up and children suffering. A hand watch was also displayed that stopped at the exact time of the bombing. Also, there were pictures of all the victims that were identified as being killed during the nuclear bomb Watching the slide show was almost too much to bear because it puts such a human touch on the whole incident.
Hiroshima was not what I would call a great experience because I feel that such words are only reserved for things of a more positive nature. Instead, it was very reflective. The images and remains that we saw today were very sobering and we stay with me for the rest of my life. I am glad that I got to experience this trip.
God Bless Hiroshima