Atomic Bombs, Peace and a Lunar Eclipse over Nagasaki

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October 9th 2014
Published: October 9th 2014
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Atomic Bombs, Peace and a Lunar Eclipse over Nagasaki

Nagasaki, Japan

Today was an emotional day as we headed off to the Nagasaki Peace Park and the WWII Atomic Bomb Museum at Ground Zero.

Our bus took us through the city of Nagasaki and over the hills to the Peace Park developed after WWII as a place to study and commemorate peace between all peoples on the earth. Countries from all over the world have contributed monuments to the park and signed agreements to help promote peace around the world.

The Park was an emotional and educating experience. There was a monument commemorating peace and highlighting the dire need for water by the survivors immediately after the blast. We could not believe it when a well dressed Japanese gentleman who was standing at the monument pointed to a sign in English that said he was an 84 year old man who was a survivor of the bombing. He was there to tell his story. He was 14 years old and working in a factory, when his boss asked him to do another job that was in a different part of the plant. By fluke he was in a part of the plant that had a concrete column and he was protected from the blast. He was burned but survived. He was speaking so eloquently, that even though we did not understand the words, his story brought tears to our eyes. He was telling his story to promote world peace. We were honored to shake his hand.

We moved on down the road to the Atomic Bomb Museum and the site of Ground Zero where the bomb hit Nagasaki. On August 9, 1945, 11:02 am, life changed forever in Nagasaki. The story is well known, but the museum looks at WWII and the bombing of Nagasaki, from the perspective of the Japanese people. Throughout the museum were photographs of the damage done to individual people as well as the port and city of Nagasaki. There were photographs of the city before and after, heart wrenching stories from survivors and many items that withstood the bomb but were changed forever. A clock stopped at exactly 11:02, rosary beads fused together from the enormous heat of the explosion. All of this happened when Cope was 4 and I had yet to be born but whenever war is seen so up close and personal, as in this museum and park, it is heart wrenching.

Much of the museum was dedicated to what was going on all over the world in 1945 in the different theatres of war… from Europe to the Pacific. The focus was not just about the horror of the bombing, but about the desire for peace from countries all over the world.

The museum is filled with thousands and thousands of paper cranes made by school children all over the city. The story of Sadako and the Thousand Cranes goes something like this…

<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> On August 6th, 1945 a little girl names Sadako was2 years old. A bomb was dropped on her city of Nagasaki and most everything was destroyed. Sadako was very lucky and survived without a scratch. Sadako was a very happy child and very athletic, a very fast runner. When Sadako was 10 she suddenly became very ill. She had leukemia. It was caused by the radioactivity of the bomb, 8 years before.

<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Sadako had to go to the hospital and all her friends were very sad. While in the hospital, Sadako heard that when someone folds 1000 paper cranes, their wish comes true. Sadako wished to get well so she started folding paper cranes. Sadako folded many cranes but became too ill to fold 1000. When she was 12 years old, in 1955, she passed away.

<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Sadako’s classmates were sad and wished for no more suffering, no more grief for other children around the world. The classmates collected donations to make a monument to children who died of the atomic bomb. Donations came in from all over Japan and the world. In 1958, “The Children’s Peace Monument was built in Peace Park in Hiroshima. Thousands of paper cranes are made and brought to the Peace Parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they come from all over the world. No more Hiroshima, No more Nagasaki, No more War. Peace.

After the museum we moved outside to ground zero where the bomb actually hit the earth. This area is marked with sculptures, the most predominate one of a woman in black funeral dress, holding her dead baby. On the base of the sculpture is simply the date and time of the attack… August 9, 1945, 11:02 am. There’s nothing more to say.

A Special Surprise…

After dinner about 8pm we were taking a walk around the deserted deck when a couple stopped us and asked if we had seen the eclipse of the moon, which was supposedly only seen in Asia? Evidently they saw a piece from the BBC on our televisions that said that people in Asia were going to have a treat tonight. We headed to the fantail and… oh my gosh… the moon was bright and full and the eclipse was in progress with the earth’s shadow covering about ½ of the moon. The lights of Nagasaki were on the horizon, the sky the blackest, black and hanging up over us a full moon in the earth’s shadow. Goosebumps time ;-) What luck to get to see this!!! You can too, as I’m sure someone has put it on You Tube by now ;-)

Next Stop.....Jeju City, South Korea


9th October 2014

Very Interesting!
Wow, I love the details of your blog! I feel like I am right there with you guys. You are really having quite unique experiences, nothing like your other travels! Can't wait to hear more !
9th October 2014

Wow! What a trip you're having! Love reading your posts, Jean! Keep'em coming!

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