We just wanted to quickly post about today while it is still fresh in our memories. We spent the afternoon at the site of the A-bomb here in Hiroshima, speaking to locals and visiting memorials and the museum. The impact of these was harrowing to say the least.
Hiroshima was completely destroyed within a 2km radius of where the bomb was dropped- burnt to the ground. A few structures survived, and one building in particular has been made a World Heritage Site- a survivor and a witness to what cruelty humans are capable of. We spoke to a woman whose mother could recount what she saw the day it happened, and was still haunted by the screams of people she could not help. We saw pictures of people whose skin had melted off, drawings made by survivors depicting the river full of corpses, and the effects of radiation of next generations. We saw the picture of the pilot who flipped the switch and felt no remorse whatsoever, who would have done it again in a second- just another day at the job. We saw the Children's Peace Monument, initiated by classmates of a little girl who died of leukemia (one of the effects of radiation) in the fifties. She had started folding paper cranes in the hospital, as she believed that if she were to fold one thousand, she would be relieved of her illness (cranes are for longevity and health)- she died before she reached her target, but since then her classmates and children al over the world have folded paper cranes in her honor and in the honor of peace on earth, and in remembrance of what evil has passed. There is so much more to see, and all of it is so beautiful... But so sad. We left feeling angry- what is the point of war? Why is it always the innocent citizens who have to pay for the decisions their leaders make? And what evil mind could possibly have thought of this evil?(Einstein actually signed a letter telling roosevelt to develop the bomb! Still think he's a smart man?) Who would want thousands of people to die this way? This was genocide. Impossible to fathom. Disturbing.
In light of today, it was kind of odd to read the following article:Wikileaks: Nederland wilde af van kernwapens - WikiLeaks - VK
We both can't believe so many countries are sitting on so many lethal weapons, only to scare each other. We hope that in our lifetimes we will see the change happen.