Hiroshima was the site of humans’ first use of nuclear weapons on a populated city. The Peace Museum does a very good job of describing the buildup to this, and stays quite neutral in telling the story. They don’t condemn the attackers outright, but also don’t give loaded opinions about the Japanese involvement that brought on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the first place.
A-Bomb Dome, below, survived by being almost directly below the detonation point – there was very little sideways force to topple the structure.
Visiting Peace Park on June 28th was quite a sobering experience. But there are rays of hope in this place, as I feel that anyone who visits here is unlikely to ever support the use of nuclear weapons.
Every year, children from around the world send paper cranes in memory of a Hiroshima child who died of leukemia several years after the bombing. She had hoped that by folding 1,000 paper cranes, her dream of recovery would come true. Unfortunately, she was wrong.
The names of all known victims of the atomic bombing are kept in ledgers in the Cenotaph. Behind it is an eternal flame, which remains lit until the world is rid of all nuclear weapons, and A-Bomb Dome in the distance.
Besides the sobering yet hopeful Peace Park, the city of Hiroshima itself shows little evidence of being completely flattened 65 years ago. But there are a few scars visible. Most of the newly-built temples are small structures, tucked in between office buildings and parking lots:
The vibrant feel of the rebuilt city is reflected in the gaudy nightlife district, and in the city’s enthusiasm for their local baseball team, the Hiroshima Carp.
Overall, my impression is that Hiroshima has recovered and even thrived in the wake of the bombing. The city strives to be an example of why nuclear armaments should be eliminated, and reminds us of the horrors that occur when such a weapon is targeted at a city. Let’s hope it never happens again.
To end on a lighter note, since there is a game tonight: GO CARP!!