Monday, August 09, 2010

Remember Nagasaki

I'd like you to pause to think about Nagasaki today. It's been 65 years since this city was the second to be destroyed by an atomic bomb. I was there 14 years ago for the 51st anniversary ceremony and, even though I couldn't understand it, I was quite moved by it all.

The Peace Park at Nagasaki is quite different to that at Hiroshima in that it is filled with statues from other countries who wish for peace. There is a shrine for the ashes of those who were affected phsyically by the bomb, known as hibakusha, and in the evening they have a ceremony with paper lanterns and candles, toro, whereby hundreds of people bring them to the river and they are tied together and floated down the river in hope of peace.

Nagasaki is a wonderful place to visit. You can see the remains of the Urakami Cathedral which was flattened, camphor trees and the one-legged torii. All remnants of the blast which serve as a reminder.

Maybe I could mention that my father-in-law lived in Kokura which was the intended target that day. If it hadn't been obscured by clouds my wife and son wouldn't be here today.


Iris Flavia said...

I read the biography of Kim Phuc... still makes me sick. That was also Nagasaki, right? Different time, same cruelty.
Yay to bad weather in your case, huh?
(Here I´m a bit sad - fist day of "holiday", 21C, cloudy)

Hammy said...

Kim Phuc was napalmed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. War, all the same.

Iris Flavia said...

Yep, cruel. How can anyone develop anything like that (bomb/napalm/whatever).