August 6, 1945
“When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around and for 25 and perhaps 30 square miles you can see hardly a building. It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made devastation.” – Wilfred Burchett
78 years ago, on this day, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped by a US bomber over the city of Hiroshima.
The time was 8:15 a.m., as recorded by this watch that remained still once the explosion reached the ground.
You cannot really understand and comprehend the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, without a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It made such a strong impression on me in 2007, and it still does to this day.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial or the Atomic Bomb Dome is a daily reminder of what happened for the citizens of Hiroshima and for the world.
The most impressive are the artifacts and the photos of the people who died in the explosion on display at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
Burnt children toys, melted coins, clothes, watches, hair and even human shadows burned into stairs are a bitter reminder of the horrors of the nuclear explosion.
“After Hiroshima was bombed, I saw a photograph of the side of a house with the shadows of the people who had lived there burned into the wall from the intensity of the bomb. The people were gone, but their shadows remained.” – Ray Bradbury
It is a touching story, recounted later by the 3 years old boy Shin’s father.
Shin and his best friend, a girl, Kimi, were playing outside with his tricycle when the explosion happened. They died and they were buried together with the Shin’s tricycle that is now displayed in the museum.
“A world without nuclear weapons” was the dream of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died of leukemia from radiation, a wish symbolized by the creation of a thousand origami cranes.
The monument is in dedication of Sadako and commemorates the child victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
“This is our cry, this is our prayer: for building peace in the world.” – Hiroshima Children’s Peace Monument
The arch shape represents a shelter for the souls of the victims.
The central stone room carries the list of all the people who died as a result of the atomic bomb tragedy.
“Dropping those atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime.” – George Wald
The Japanese account of the August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima differs from the official US position in the interpretation of the US ultimatum and their reasons to use the bomb.
The U.S. wanted to use the weapon in war to measure its effectiveness and to prove the spending of 2 billion US$, despite Japan willingness to surrender.
“Rest in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated.” – Hiroshima Peace Park Cenotaph inscription