Looking through this arch at the Hiroshima Peace Park reveals the skeleton (look carefully) of the Genbaku Domu, the dome which was the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945. Through the efforts of many people, including those of the city of Hiroshima, the Atomic Bomb Dome has been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing. It stands there to serve two purposes: as a stark and powerful symbol of the most destructive force ever created by humankind; and also as an expression of the hope for world peace and the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons.
When I went to Japan with my Japanese friend and her children, we spent weeks folding origami cranes until we had 1,000, the number required to make a dream come true. The many strings of 1,000 paper cranes adorning all the sculptures and memorials in the Peace Park especially in August, month of memory and regret, represent dreams of peace. Visiting the Peace Park was a tremendously powerful experience, demonstrating that regrets are idle until positive energy develops from them. There is powerful positive energy here. It erupts even through the dismal scenes and artifacts of the first atomic bomb explosion, an energy that both sobers us, and lifts our spirits and strengthens our resolve to work for peace.
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