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A Day at Hiroshima

Written on: Monday May 27th, 2013

A journal entry from: Italy, Ireland, Japan

At Hiroshima, we struggled to accept realities not thought possible. That textbooks don't paint a real enough picture is an understatement. 

The museum featured photos of before and after the bomb, videos and stories from survivors, burnt clothing and personal items, pieces of buildings and much more. It was impossible to understand the scope of suffering and damage this single bomb caused; heartbreaking to say the least. I think what made it even more powerful was to realize this event occurred just barely before our lifetime. 

Beyond the museum, the Atomic Bomb Dome is the only remaining building from the time of the bombing. They decided to preserve the severely damaged structure as a reminder of the pain of nuclear war. This along with an eternal flame will only be taken down once all nuclear weapons on earth have been dismantled. 

One of the exhibits I enjoyed was that of Sadako Sasaki. If any of you have read the book, she is the little girl who suffered leukaemia after the bombing and tried to fold 1000 paper cranes to bring her health back. Many of her cranes are in the museum, along with other personal items. Every year people from all over the world send paper cranes to Hiroshima, amounting to about 10 million each year.

The city is a promoter of peace, and the Mayor of Hiroshima writes a letter every time a nuclear weapon is tested, asking them to understand to effects of what they are doing and pleading them to shut it down. 
Reading about the suffering and deaths of nearly 200,000 people makes for a heavy day, but  Hiroshima is a very beautiful city that clearly shows the survival spirit of the Japanese people. This will be one of the most memorable days of our trip.