Black, black rain.
People craned their neck
To the sky
With their mouth wide open.
Hot bodies, so very hot,
They wanted water.
~ Akiko Takakura
There are moments, where I question humanity – or the lack of it.
I wonder what causes us to forget that we are all intrinsically connected, no matter how far away sometimes, the world may seem.
These questions were circulating in my mind as I walked around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum.
As you get off the train, the first thing in view is the Atomic Bomb Dome.
The former Industrial Promotion Hall, it was destroyed by the world’s first use of an atomic bomb.
At 8:15am on August 6th 1945, an American B29 bomber was ordered to fly over Hiroshima with the world’s first ever atomic bomb.
Detonated at an altitude of 600metres, the bomb claimed over 20,000 lives and reduced the city to ashes.
The museum outlined the horror which unfolded:
~ the black rain
~ the destruction
~ the tragedy of families lost
~ the generations of disease and pain
Now I’m not going to try summarise the horrific events of Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) into a simple blog post – that would not do the victims justice.
But I do want to take the opportunity to say this:
If leaders of the world refuse to learn from the lessons of the past, we as cognizant individuals must.
When leaders take to twitter to flex their nuclear arsenal
When leaders place territory over lives
When leaders choose power over governance
We must remember.
Remember that we are all responsible for each other.
That we are more alike than we are different.
That even though humans have the capability to do devastating things – we are also capable of incredible empathy and kindness.
War is where rich men play with the lives of innocent people.
What happened at Hiroshima was not an acquittal of Japan’s role in the war.
Hiroshima is what happens when we all stop caring and let distance be the key determinant in how we treat one another.
Ryan Cheng is the founder of The 88, and is passionate about telling stories surrounding travel, culture and identity.
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