August 06, 2005

60th Anniversary Of Hiroshima

Hiroshima Dome Memorial
Photography By El-Branden Brazil

Last year, I finally visited Hiroshima. Over my many years in Japan, I avoided going there, because I did not want to tread on the bones of the dead, metaphorically speaking. There was no other reason for me to visit, other than to "sightsee" the memorials of that tragic day. It just seemed so wrong.

My brother was visiting me, and he talked me into going. When I arrived, I found Hiroshima to be a vibrant, beautiful, rejuvenated city, with a friendly people, none of which betrayed the suffering of its recent past.

The museum in the Memorial Park is a place that everyone should visit. It stands as an important reminder to humanity.

Throughout it are grotesque and disturbing remnants of the attack, including the twisted, burnt personal belongings and clothes of children. There is a stone staircase that has the "shadows" of people who had blocked out the intense, bleaching light of the blast's rays. There are photographs of the insufferable burns inflicted on innocent men, women and children. There are the many tales of persisting cancers that still continue to inflict to this day.

Most visitors will leave with a repugnant sense of how innately evil nuclear weapons are. Let us hope that no human ever sees such horror ever again.

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