The atrocities that were released onto Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 were absolutely unforgettable—nor should the day ever be forgotten. Hiroshima and her people endured incalculable tragedy, yet the city has emerged with great fortitude. A visit to the atomic bomb museum at the Peace Park in Hiroshima gave me a depth of understanding that though not necessarily sought out, offered a broader understanding of the world and how it came to be. Living in South Korea under the incessant threat of nuclear war from the North, I gleaned a keener understanding of the disastrous effects of nuclear war. The museum, though possibly difficult to stomach for some, is a detailed look at a single moment in time. That moment being 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945. Visitors will learn everything from why the U.S. government ultimately decided on Hiroshima as its target, to why so many school age children perished in the attack, their sole remainder a tattered hat or camisole. Stories if survivors chilled me to the bone. One boy’s fingernails melted from his hands from the intense heat of the fireball, and overcome with an insatiable thirst, he sucked the puss from his gaping flesh. Tales of countless people struggling to overcome the devastation is an intense tug at the heartstrings.
The world should never forget the devastation wreaked on Hiroshima during World War II. All we can do now is learn from it and use the experience toward creating a future filled with peace and understanding.