The following morning after breakfast we joined the Orange route hop on hop off bus near our hotel and travelled around to the Peace Park again.
Our first stop was the National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.
We made our way down to a large circular room with a pictorial representation of Hiroshima at the time of the bombing. Below this the wall was composed of over 140000 tiles representing the people who were killed. Upstairs another room had photos and details of those who were known. This is a small percentage of the victims but the vast majority were blank as the victims were never identified.
Once outside we passed the Peace Flame again. It is cupped in two large ‘hands’.
From there we went up to the Children’s Peace Memorial. It is here that thousands upon thousands of paper origami cranes are encased in display cabinets. Stemming from bombing victim Sadako Sasakiho who was two when the bombing occurred. At 11 years of age she developed leukaemia. She decided to fold 1000 origami cranes. The crane is a Japanese symbol of longevity and happiness. She died before completing her aim but her classmates finished the rest. Thousands of children from all over the world have folded and sent cranes here.
Whilst there we witnessed a school peace ceremony by some older students patiently watched on by a much younger group of students.
Also a crane delivery by some very young students, who would be flat out understanding the symbolism of what they have done in making their cranes. Perhaps I am underestimating the message they receive in their class. It was very moving watching the two ceremonies.
It is such a tragedy that WW2 ended in this way with so many civilians being bombed. At the time, clearly America believed in what they were doing in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki but hopefully there is a lot of regret now for their role in history just as Japan acknowledges and regrets their role of wrongdoing as an aggressor.
“All we are saying is Give Peace a Chance.” – John Lennon