Friday, August 11, 2006
Sunday, August 6th, was the 61st Anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. A ceremony was held that morning where a bell was rung at 8:15, the moment the bomb was dropped, and a moment of silence was observed for those who perished. After that, there we a few speeches given. I'd like to give a lot more detail, but our Japanese is nowhere near good enough to understand what was said. What we could catch was along these lines (I think): The mayor gave a speech involving the need to promote peace and calling attention to the inaction of nuclear powers regarding disarmament. Two children gave a speech about (again I'm not sure) the fact that freedom is not ours so that we may enjoy our lives and do as we please. That freedom requires that we strive for peace and the improvement of the world around us. After the children, Prime minister Koizumi gave a speech that was brief and largely unintelligible. That evening, lanterns bearing messages of peace were released into the river. (We have pictures of them glowing in the dark, but they didn't turn out well enough to post.) At that, I realize that this post really doesn't do justice to the ceremony, or the weight of the event it remembers. Visiting the Peace museum and seeing the images of what really happened are experiences which cannot really be explained, and I don't even believe that those images adequately communicate the horror. Not that we're all that important, but we recommend that all who are able to come and see what took place (we have a spare futon or two if you need a place to crash), and that those who can't come do what they can to read up on it.