Hiroshima 70 Years Today

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Today August 6th, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

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Last night on the eve of the Atomic Remembrance Day, I came by the Atomic Bomb to remember, to learn, to think and to pay my respects.

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The local suffering of one people can have global consequences.

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Every time I stand beneath the Atomic Memorial Dome, I feel weighed down by a heaviness, a sense of despair.

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The Atomic Dome is a reminder of the misery and the wretchedness human beings can inflict upon one another.

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We have the power of destruction over each other. Absolutely.

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If we have the power to destroy, it also means we have the ability to create, to give birth anew.

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As the sun was setting over the river that runs alongside the Atomic Dome, I looked over the city of Hiroshima and felt an immense sense of gratitude to be able to stand in this space during this time at this exact location.

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The earth on which I stand is Sacred Ground.

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Night descended over the Atomic Dome. When the sun rises next, it will mark 70 years when the atomic bomb was dropped at this exact place.

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The following morning, on August 6th 2015, not only did the sun rise, but it shone brightly, loudly and joyously over a clear immense monstrous blue sky!

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Birds flew, soaring, singing, crowing, surveying the green horizon.

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Outside the gate of the Atomic Dome, elderly people sat with photos and pictures along with their stories and explanations of what had happened “That Day” as visitors from around the world listened and gazed.

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The evening before, I had felt a certain heaviness and sorrow standing in front of the Atomic Dome at dusk. Today, I felt a sense of hope.

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I saw so many people from a round the world by the Atomic Dome and at the Peace Park talking, listening, watching, reading and learning about history and the consequences that our thoughts, actions, reactions can have on our world, ourselves and on each other.

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The World Scout movement was also having its Jamboree in Hiroshima, Japan, on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing!

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IMG_8896IMG_8967Today, I witnessed young people from many nations walking these same sacred grounds as I was, discovering and seeing for themselves the lessons of the past and discussing, learning and, hopefully, reflecting on the future of our world.

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Children’s Peace Monument, Peace Park, Hiroshima.

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Part of the inscription of the Children’s Peace Monument reads:

This monument stands 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 Saki, who was exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb at the age of two.  Ten years later Sadako developed leukaemia that ultimately ended her life. Sadako’s untimely death compelled her classmates to begin a call for the construction of a monument for all children who died due to the atomic bomb. Built with contributions from more than 3,200 schools in Japan and donors in nine countries, the Children’s Peace Monument was unveiled in May, 1958.

At the top of the nine-meter monument , a bronze statue of a young girl lifts a golden crane entrusted with dreams for a peaceful future. Figures of a boy and a girl are located on the sides of the monument…

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The carvings on the stone are the words of Sadako Saki’s classmates in building the Children’s Peace Monument ~  “This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world.”

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