7. The Path to Peace

“Hibakusha say simply, ‘I met with the A-bomb.’ Perhaps they use this expression because the event they ‘met with’ defies description─an instant of massive destruction, mind-numbing death and injury, and the grief of watching helplessly as family members, relatives, friends, and neighbours died in agony. They also say, ‘It’s painful even to remember.’ The A-bomb witnesses have overcome that pain and are passing on their experiences of that day. They feel duty bound to tell the world why nuclear weapons must never be used again. The continual prayer of the A-bombed City of Hiroshima is to unite humankind toward our common goal: genuine and lasting world peace.”

The above prayer of peace, for me, sums up the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The message of the museum is that nuclear weapons are awful, horrible, and terrible, and that they must be wiped out. Nevertheless not only that but we must also remember what happened in Hiroshima, and through the images and memories of horror enshrined therein we can avoid repeating the atrocity that is the dropping of a nuclear bomb.

This museum is almost unique in admitting the lamentable actions of the Japanese, without attempting to explain or justify them, which I found not only refreshing but laudable. It also provides a rebuttal of the American narrative of the need for nuclear weapons, which is both interesting and something all citizens of the world should be told in order for them to make up their own minds and eventually come to the conclusion that the earth would be better without nuclear weaponry.

It is important that the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum continue to tell its story.

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