Before leaving Hiroshima I found myself back at the Peace Memorial Park. A couple days earlier I had been there at night but this time I got to see it during the daytime. The straight-line view through the Memorial Cenotaph that goes through the Peace Flame and all the way to the A-Bomb Dome is striking no matter how many times I view it. I covered the history of Peace Memorial Park in my previous post (found here) so please see that post for more details about the Cenotaph and other structures in the park.
A bit past the Peace Flame is the Children’s Peace Monument. A bronze statue of young girl holds a paper crane above her head and the statue has a very touching story behind it. The statue is of Sadoko Sasaki, a girl who survived the initial atomic blast and folded 1,000 paper cranes before succumbing to radiation poisoning. Cranes are considered symbols of peace in Japan and throughout the year paper cranes are placed near this statue.
The A-Bomb Dome maintains its eternal vigil across the river from the rest of the park. Considering how close this building was to the hypocenter of the blast it’s impressive that some of it survived. The dome is a tangible link to the horrors of the bombing and anyone viewing it can understand why the people of Hiroshima chose to leave it standing. No one inside the A-Bomb Dome survived the blast but the skeleton of the building lived on to remind the world of what happened that day.