On August 6, 1945 at 8:15 the nuclear bomb Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. About 70% of the city’s buildings were completely destroyed and the rest severely damaged. The A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima is an impressive reminder of that event.
On the schedule for today was a visit to the Peace Memorial Museum near the A-Bomb Dome. But we totally lost track of time at Miyajima and ended up in a Hiroshima tram hours later than planned, totally exhausted.
When we finally arrived at the museum it was almost 7 p.m., and that’s when the museum closes and the entrance even closes 30 minutes earlier. We were too late. And this was our only chance to see it, as it’s really expensive to travel to Hiroshima especially for the visiting Dutchies. It was disappointing, but at least we could still enjoy the Memorial Peace Park and its many monuments. Like the Cenotaph for the bomb victims. The monument resembles an ancient arch-shaped house, in part because of the desire to shelter the souls of the victims from the elements. The stone chest in the center holds the registry of the names of persons who died from the bombing. Names can still be added and there are already more than 220,000 names in there.
Hiroshima was proclaimed a City of Peace in 1949. And there’s a Peace “Watch” Tower at the entrance of the museum, protesting nuclear weapons and counting the days since the first atomic bomb to be used against mankind (the one in Hiroshima) and the days since the latest nuclear bomb test. The city government continues to advocate the abolition of all nuclear weapons.
The A-Bomb Dome or Genbaku Dome, was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall at the time of the bombing. It was the closest surviving building to the location of the bomb’s detonation. Because the bomb exploded in the air almost directly above the building some walls escaped total collapse, everyone inside was killed. Now its is a historical witness that conveys the disaster of the first atomic bombing in history, a symbol of the vow to pursue the abolition of nuclear weapons and enduring peace and another World Heritage Site.
Even though we couldn’t see the exhibitions in the museum, our visit to the Memorial Peace Park was still impressive and instructive because Yasu and I just used the internet on our phones to learn more about the war, the bombing, and the aftermath.