While I was visiting Heather in Iwakuni, she was such a great tour guide. I am so lucky to have a network of great military-wife-friends, literally all over the globe. My favorite thing we did, that still weighs on my mind daily, was visiting Hiroshima.
|Panoramic View of Hiroshima Peace Park|
When most people think Hiroshima, they probably think of the few minutes spent in a classroom chronicling the first atomic bomb dropping on the city near the end of World War Two. History was certainly never my favorite class… so if more was said than that, it was lost on me. I recently read the book Unbroken, the story of a WWII vet who survived a long, hard war through much adversity. It was a lengthy read, totally worth the hours I spent immersed in the pages to become more connected with the history Japan and America have together. Visiting the site of this brutal attack, only 66 years after the bombing and weeks after reading such an inspiring story, was eye opening and humbling. I could go on for days about the impact it made on me, but I will let you see it for yourself through the photos.
|The Cenotaph, Pond of Peace, Flame of Peace, and A-Bomb Dome (Look through the Cenotaph).|
|Inscriptions of Peace, in many different languages. My Mom put it best saying: "This proves we all want the same things....little bit of peace in a crazy world." I could not agree more.|
|Paper Cranes. The tradition started with Sadako, a girl who was 2 years old at the time of the bombing and passed away ten years later with leukemia. Cranes continue to be folded and sent to her monument from all over the world with prayers and wishes for peace.|
|A class of Japanese students dedicating paper cranes and wishing for peace. Everyone watching was brought to tears.|
|The imprint of an atom on the Peace Bell.|
|Heather ringing the bell for peace. It is said to resound in each corner of the world and reach the hearts of each and every human being.|
|Students of all ages were mobilized and sent to work after the bombing, helping reclaim the destroyed city. This memorial is dedicated to the 6,300 students killed while stepping up to duty during and after the attack.|
I never thought that I would be 25, visiting somewhere that the first atomic bomb was dropped. It is humbling, thought provoking, and awe-inspiring. I hope you have been pushed to think about our history... and maybe delve into it a bit farther to allow your own views to become more well-rounded. Maybe I have reached at least one individual. ;)
Next up on the blog list: MiyaJima. Much more lighthearted, I promise. :)