Hiroshima is known for being the first city in the world to have been hit with an atomic bomb by USA during WWII. However, apart from one remaining structure, you wouldn’t be able to tell that the ground you are walking on was once obliterated to rubble and on it crawled thousands of people dying from burns and radiation.
It’s an eerie thought, and one that you are reminded of as you walk by the A-bomb Dome at night. It was decided that it was to be left it standing to remind the world what happens when humans let war get too far.
I visited the City Museum and Memorial Hall, which in my opinion, all did a good job of being as fair as possible when describing the events of the war. They acknowledged that Japan wasn’t entirely guilt free when it came to the terrible things it committed during war-time, but neither were the countries exactly heroic angels either.
Walking amongst the tattered remains of kid’s school uniforms and packed lunch boxes burnt black from fire, rusted toy bikes and stopped watches, photos of burn victims and pieces of walls splattered with shards of glass or with black rain streaked solemnly on the sides of them, one begins to realize how destructively far humans can go.
It’s almost impossible to believe that it was even true. It felt so far fetch’d that I almost couldn’t fathom that it had actually happened right where I was standing, just a couple of decades ago.
In any case, the objective of the museum wasn’t to bash on other countries, it was to try and spread the message against nuclear weapons. The people of Hiroshima believe that as long as nuclear weapons exists (or even the threat of it) peace cannot be made between humans on earth when we can just blast our enemies into oblivion with a push of a button.
I can’t say I disagree with this point of view, and although some may say that the bombing of Japan might have been ‘necessary’ to stop the war, when you’re reading the stories of dead little girls your view tends to shift a little. I just couldn’t have helped thinking that there must have been another way, any other way, apart from this kind of devastation.
It was a bitter couple of hours spent, but it was necessary to remind people of the real horrors of war, something a lot of us thankfully have never witnessed in real life. It’s definitely an emotional experience that everyone should go through, if not out of respect for those that died.
Whichever side you lie on the nuclear debate, one thing is true. We are all aiming for the same thing. A world where there is no war and fighting, a world where children can enjoy their childhoods and adults can live without worrying about rationing for the war effort or whether they’d live to see their kids grow up.
We’re all aiming for world peace. Will we live to see it happen?