Hiroshima is an important stop for me on our journey through Japan. In fact, every traveller to Japan should stop here and experience the Peace Memorial Park was created to remind people about the atomic bomb that was detonated over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
When the bomb was detonated, the explosive force hit the Hiroshima Perfectural Industrial Promotion Hall almost vertically, so the building’s walls and dome withstood the impact. Everyone inside died instantly and the interior burned, but the shell remained. The Japanese made the decision to keep this shell and maintain it to keep it like is was after the attack as a reminder to the world of the devastation one bomb inflicted upon humanity.
In the park, we visit a number of memorials, the Peace Bell, the Flame of Peace, the Centotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims and the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall. All are designed with clean classic lines, concrete, an airiness and are approachable.
The Children’s Peace Monument was built to commemorate all the children who died and was inspired by Sadako Sasaki, a young woman who was exposed to radiation at age two and died from Leukaemia ten years later. She set about to fold 1000 origami cranes believing it would prolong her life. There is a group of children at the monument today. A young girl is speaking in front of the group. Cranes are brought by children to the monument everyday.
There are Japanese schools groups everywhere in the park. Elementary to high school aged children. The younger ones wear hats, all one colour for each group, yellow, red, orange. The older students get away with no hats. They are learning about what happened here 75 years ago. It is an intgral part of their country’s history and their lessons.
It is an important part of the world’s history and those far away may be forgetting the devastation and loss of life that occurred with that one act. Not only should school groups from Japan be visiting this park, but school groups from all over the globe, and world leaders, need to be visiting this park so they can learn what happened on August 6, 1945 so it is not forgotten and perhaps repeated.