My first blog entry was supposed to be about something else, but yesterday made me decide to dedicate my first blog entry to a particular city and topic: Hiroshima and the wish of a world without atomic weapons.
As yesterday was the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
(A-bomb Dome – registered on the World Heritage List as a historical witness conveying the horror of the first use of a nuclear weapon, and as a world peace monument appealing continually for lasting peace and the abolition of such weapons)
Unfortunately this is a very serious topic and it is very important to me. At the beginning of this year I visited the city Hiroshima and spent most of my time there in the peace park, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Memorial Hall. For hours I listened to the audio interviews of survivors telling their memories and horrible experiences. Many stories touched me deeply.
(Children’s Peace Monument – in memory of all children who died as a result of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The monument was originally inspired by the death of Sadako Sasaki, who was exposed to the radiation from the atomic bomb at the age of two and died in 1955 at the age of 12. In Japan you say when you fold 1000 origami cranes one wish will be fulfilled. In the belief that folding 1000 cranes would cure her disease, Sadako folded one after another. She died before she could finish. As Sadako’s story spread throughout the world, paper cranes have become an international symbol of peace. In the displays around the Children’s Peace Monument lies a continually replenished pile of folded cranes sent from around the world.)
However, I was even more moved by something else: the fact that many countries today still own atomic weapons and conduct tests with them (US, France, GB, Russia, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea – last test conducted by the USA was on the 12th December 2013). After dealing with the horrific Hiroshima event for hours , this made me furious! There is nothing worse than when humankind won’t learn from its past! It’s horrible enough that the atomic bombing in Hiroshima & Nagasaki happened, but when the US and other countries blow up atomic bombs in the desert or the ocean, it is just reckless and disgusting. I can’t even find the words. I’m sure it doesn’t harm the environment in any way (…yeah right…).
(Peace “Watch” Tower – The first panel indicates the number of days since the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The lower panel indicates the number of days since the last nuclear test.)
I really hope from the bottom of my heart that the city of Hiroshima, in cooperation with other countries and the UN, will accomplish their goal and abolish atomic weapons by 2020!!!
(Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace and Memorial Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims – “Let all the souls here rest in peace for we shall not repeat this evil” – This monument embodies the hope that Hiroshima, devastaded on 6 August 1945 by the world’s first atomic bombing, will stand forever as a city of peace. The stone chamber in the center contains the Register of Deceased A-bomb Victims.)
Here is part of this year’s peace declaration by the mayor of Hiroshima:
“We greet the morning of the 68th return of “that day.” At 8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945, a single atomic bomb erased an entire family. “The baby boy was safely born. Just as the family was celebrating, the atomic bomb exploded. Showing no mercy, it took all that joy and hope along with the new life.”
[..] Indiscriminately stealing the lives of innocent people, permanently altering the lives of survivors, and stalking their minds and bodies to the end of their days, the atomic bomb is the ultimate inhumane weapon and an absolute evil. The hibakusha, who know the hell of an atomic bombing, have continuously fought that evil.
Under harsh, painful circumstances, the hibakusha have struggled with anger, hatred, grief and other agonizing emotions. […] But precisely because they had suffered such tragedy themselves, they came to believe that no one else “should ever have to experience this cruelty.”[…]
Even as their average age surpasses 78, the hibakusha continue to communicate their longing for peace. They still hope the people of the world will come to share that longing and choose the right path. In response to this desire of the many hibakusha who have transcended such terrible pain and sorrow, the rest of us must become the force that drives the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons.
To that end, the city of Hiroshima and the more than 5,700 cities that comprise Mayors for Peace, in collaboration with the UN and like-minded NGOs, seek to abolish nuclear weapons by 2020 and throw our full weight behind the early achievement of a nuclear weapons convention.
Policymakers of the world, how long will you remain imprisoned by distrust and animosity? Do you honestly believe you can continue to maintain national security by rattling your sabers? Please come to Hiroshima. Encounter the spirit of the hibakusha. […]
Today, a growing group of countries is focusing on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and calling for abolition.
[…] Recalling once again the trials of our predecessors through these 68 years, we offer heartfelt consolation to the souls of the atomic bomb victims by pledging to do everything in our power to eliminate the absolute evil of nuclear weapons and achieve a peaceful world.”