Sunday, August 07, 2005

Hiroshima Peace Park (Heiwa Koen)

Hiroshima Peace Park - 8
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Saturday, August 6th, 2005 marks the 60 year anniversary of the day when the American military dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.

There was a huge gathering of people in Hiroshima today and while I couldn't attend, I watched some footage on the news that showed the huge crowds attending the memorial service and peace concert held at the site of the original epicenter of the blast.

Touring the peace musuem near the park last May was one of the most moving experiences I've had in Japan, one filled with tremendous sadness and anger and at the end a glimmer of hope. Hiroshima has rebuilt itself into a magnificent city and flowers and trees and grass grow at the site where scientists had predicted that nothing would grow for decades.

There will be similar ceremonies happening in Nagasaki on Tuesday the 9th to mark the 60th anniversary of another bomb being dropped on that city.

I haven't been to Nagasaki yet, but I hope to go later this year.

Peace -

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

"No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to believe that violence in the end is rewarded." -Margaret
Mead, anthropologist (1901-1978)


Greybeard said...

And if we had believed we could not be "successfully violent" against the Japanese, the 4 million Chinese they killed in China in WWII might have died in vain, Jason.
Peace is a wonderful thing.
It does not come without a cost.
Never forget that!

Kazzie said...

It's not about justifying the nation's act. Everyone is a victim in a war, and it's our duty to keep peace.(Am I too idealistic?) I was born and raised in Nagasaki, so I've listened to A-bomb victims' stories quite a few times. But they left me nothing. I mean, I was scared of vivid and shocking pictures and films so much. I always had nightmares in August. I just wished there weren't Aug 9th. Now things around me are different. Living in North America, I feel that people aren't very knowledgeable of A-bombs. They even glorify the A-bombs for stopping the war. I understand that there could've been more death if America hadn't dropped the bombs. But it's very dangerous and sad to say that it was a good thing. Especially to me, it's a sad thing.

I'm going back to Nagasaki on Aug 11th. Too bad that I miss 9th!