I`ll admit it to you. As much as I like to check off all UNESCO sites no matter how uninteresting some may be, Hiroshima was not high on my list of places to visit. As a UNESCO site it draws visitors from all over the world, but unless I could pass myself off as something other than American, I feared a hostile reception. I was more than happy to strong arm a visiting friend`s teenaged daughter to the site even though I`d avoided the trip myself. It was too late to back out when I realized I would have to be the one to take her.
At 8:15, the A bomb was dropped and time literally stood still.
The dome and hall before:
The area surrounding the Hall was incinerated.
People were vaporized, leaving shadows to document their last action. Painting, walking, or sitting on a stair.
Roaming around the site were hundreds of school children. A group of three shyly approached to practice their English, starting with our country of origin. Once the others saw our smiles and friendly dispositions, we were swarmed whereas the foreign men with somber faces were left alone.
Yes- peace- for all.
*** One of the best books on Hiroshima is John Hersey`s “Hiroshima.” Hersey tells the stories of 6 survivors describing that day in August 6, 1945. A truly compelling but easy read.