Around 65 years ago, Hiroshima was on the receiving end of the world's first atomic bomb. Nowadays, ground zero is a vibrant and attractive city that has flourished but has not forgotten the lessons of history. Here a re chronicles of my visit.
In 1945, Hiroshima became the worlds first atomic bomb target. It was a tragic day in the history and the consequences of the bomb attack were terrible. The whole world remembers the images of the giant mushroom cloud floating over Hiroshima. About 78.000 people were killed immediately, and a lot of people died later from injuries and illnesses caused by the nuclear explosion. For the exact amounts and more background information, the wikipedia page is very useful.
65 years later, Hiroshima isn’t a depressing city. Its citizens seem to have recovered from this terrible history and today, Hiroshima is a vibrant, busy and attractive place. It’s very easy to walk around here and forget about the terrible past. But of course, history shouldn’t be forgotten, especially not horrible facts like these. That’s why everyone should visit the Peace Memorial Park. There’s also a Museum in the park for those who want some more background and information.
In the park, you can also see the Children’s Peace Monument. Sadako Sasaki developed leukemia at the age of 11, as a result of the bombing 10 years earlier. She decided to fold paper cranes. This is the Japanese symbol of longevity and happiness and a custom that is believed to make wishes come true. The young girl believed that she would recover by folding these cranes. Unfortunately, she died, but these cranes are now a touching monument. Across the river from the Peace Memorial Park, you can see the A-Bomb Dome. It used to be the Industrial Promotion Hall until the bomb exploded almost directly above it. Now it’s an eternal reminder of the tragedy and is was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1996.
This visit might not make you very happy and hopeful, but it’ll make you think about history and the idiocy of war. For me it was a very interesting experience and it really touched me.