Hiroshima - a testament to the resilience of life

February 16, 2009 - Hiroshima, Japan

 My last day in Japan I stopped in Hiroshima.

As in Nagasaki, the experience can only be experienced, not described.

While Hiroshima was (numerically at least) even more tragic than Nagasaki and today the rememberance of that is embraced on an even grander scale (the museum, park, shrine, etc are all larger and moe dramatic)...what really stuck with me in Hiroshima is what a BEAUTIFUL CITY it is.

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Near the end of the museum is a picture of a tree (I don't even know what kind of tree it is).  사진 402Next to the tree is a description of how, after August 6, 1945, it was said that nothing will grow in Hirosima for the next 75 years.  Weeks later, a scorched remnant of a tree trunk began to sprout new branches.  It was symbolic of the ability of live to survive, to renew, to regrow.  And the city did.  Quite INSPIRING.  It is perhaps one of the more beautiful (and certainly one of the cleanest) cities I've ever seen.  I imagine the pride of its citizens is quite the same.  The museum does a particularly great job of bringing to awareness the tragedy of human warfare and the beauty of  human beings.  It does not hide Japan's own tragic acts in the earlier part of the 20th century: salvery of Koreans and Chinese, Pearl Harbour, Empirical control of it's nations resources for the sole purpose of war, Propaganda supporting warfare and conquest.  Similarly it does not undermine the potential beauty of humanity: displays of peace protests around the world, a request for the abolishment of all weapons of mass destruction, an Eternal Flame of Peace사진 408 that  will not be extinguished until all nuclear weapons are destroyed.  And of course, Hiroshima itself, a beautiful, proseperous city of vibrant  parks and loving people: a real like argument for the power of embracing peace.

It was a nice way to leave Japan.


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