I probably first learnt about the bombing of Hiroshima as a 16-year-old. I was living as an exchange student in Saginaw, Michigan that year and pulled Harry S. Truman as the president I had to present to my American Government class.
He was President at the time Hiroshima was bombed. At the time I found researching nuclear weapons just madness while my classmates thought it was just good sense and couldn’t comprehend why anyone would have a nuclear free country by choice.
Today we are in Hiroshima, a city all but annihilated when America dropped an atomic bomb on it in 1945. The photo above is the Atomic Bomb Dome – one of the few buildings left standing (albeit as a shell) after the blast.
We’d read in Trip Advisor that you should start at The Peace Museum, which we did. It was thorough and not sensationalised but boy was it grim.
The museum ran through life leading up to the drop and the science behind an atom bomb before getting into the effect on the city.
Utter devastation – many of the stories shared showed that a lot of people didn’t die straight away but that night, or the next day, or a long time of suffering later.
The objects on show included things like skin and fingernails, melted household objects, a charred lunchbox, ripped and charred clothing and a slab of stone steps with a person’s shadow burnt into it.
One statue, which has now been covered in strings of paper cranes (for peace) shows a mother holding her dead child. They’re not mucking around here – or sugar-coating history.
I found it hard to reconcile the level of death and destruction we saw today. It was certainly a time for reflection.