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Hiroshima Is Heavy

WHOA! This city is powerful.

We arrived here in Hiroshima this afternoon on the Shinkansen high-speed train from Osaka. We quickly dropped our bags off at the hostel and then headed out on the tram to visit ground zero. The Atomic Bomb Dome.

The former HPIPH (Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall) is one of the last remaining buildings from that fateful day on August 6th, 1945. On that morning, at 8:15 in the morning, as people were on their way to work, and children on their way to school, the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb ever to be used in the history of humankind. The a-bomb detonated about 600 meters above the HPIPH, and consequently vaporized everything in the radius of the blast.

What remains of the building…

…has been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing, now serving as a reminder of nuclear devastation…

…a symbol of hope for world peace and elimination of all nuclear weapons.

Across the river from the dome is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which has a variety of monuments and memorials to help us all remember the impact of the decision to drop the bomb.

The Memorial Cenotaph has the names of all the people killed by the bomb. The Cenotaph carries the epitaph, “Repose ye in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated.”

Through the monuments arch you can see the Peace Flame…

The most jaw dropping memorial had to be the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound.

That grass-covered knoll contains the ashes of 70,000 unidentified victims of the bomb.

Seventy-thousand human beings incinerated in a matter of seconds.
Seventy-thousand mothers, fathers and children.



No words can describe the lump in your throat or the knot in your stomach as you stand there just trying to imagine what it was like on that clear August day.

Behind the Peace Flame is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The museum exhibit presents the facts of the atomic bombing, with the aim of contributing to the abolition of nuclear weapons throughout the world, and to achieve world peace. As one might expect, the sights in the museum are gut wrenching. Some of the display cases show clothing, watches, hair, and other personal affects worn by victims of the bomb including several watches that have stopped working at 8:15am. Towards the end of the exhibit is when it really gets emotional as you see piece after piece of scorched childrens clothes, and toys, and lunch box tins that are charred beyond recognition.

Again, no words can fully describe this experience but perhaps the thousands upon thousands of origami cranes next to the Children’s Peace Monument can help to sum it up.

Despite the atrocities that took place in this city, they people of Hiroshima of risen above it all and have taken it upon themselves to shown us all what is really important in this world, and what it means to be a human being on this planet.

Thanks Hiroshima!

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