I guess that everybody knows about the tragic event, which took place in August 1945 at 8:15 AM. So did I. Prior to my visit in Hiroshima this autumn I talked about this disaster in one of my presentations at university in London. I didn’t elaborate my research about too much because the atomic bomb was not the main focus.
On the 31st of August I came to Japan and I didn’t know I would have the opportunity to go to Hiroshima with my politics and history classes. I never thought that I would have had the opportunity to meet and listen to an Atomic Bomb survivor, but I did and I will never forget this wonderful experience!
On the 9th of October we went to Hiroshima. I was very excited yet very afraid about this trip. I didn’t know how it is going to be. I never seen or talked to someone who survived the atomic before.
I woke up, I packed my bag and I went to Hirakata station. The bus was full of students from Kansai Gaidai. We met our teacher there and we all went to Osaka Shin station where we took the Shinkansen. Being born in a poor part of the world makes me fully appreciate everything that is modern, new or different from my home country. We found our car seats, we settled down in perhaps one of the fastest trains in the world. I spent so much time staring at all details around me.
After a while my teacher came and asked me for “a favour”. He asked me if I could give the victim a gift at the end of her speech. I felt so lucky… We arrived in Hiroshima, we took the streetcar and we arrived near the peace park (more precisely in front of the A-dome). I was shocked for several minutes; I left and I saw the bridge, the park and the museum. Everything was new and clean, fully recovered after 60 years. I didn’t know if this applied to its citizens too…
|Walking towards the Peace Museum|
I finally entered the museum, had a glance at some items at the first floor and then rushed to the conference room. I was listening for the victim for one hour and it completely changed the opinion about the world I live in. Nobody at the time knew that an atomic bomb was dropped. She didn’t know what was happening to her family since she was on the way to school alone when the tragedy happened. She also didn’t know about her future after the atomic bomb. I could barely keep myself from crying.
|Anna-Lotta and I walking towards the Peace Museum|
I was also embarrassed when one of the students attempted to read a melodramatic speech using posh British English...or maybe Canadian English. Why? We were born in the same country. Almost everybody looked at me. He was instructed not to do so but obviously, he didn’t care. He wanted to do something interesting or fascinating, but it definitely failed.
At the end of the meeting, I went with 3 of my friends and I gave her the present. I will never forget that handshake. My eyes were tearing and I continuously asked myself why this happened.
I felt like I just came from a funeral and I could not pay attention to all details the museum offered at that time. So, I visited the museum twice. I certainly will never forget all of the special moments this trip to Hiroshima offered me!