Today Sarah and I met Chieko, Yuji, and his wife, Sansuki at Shin-Osaka. We bought delicious bento boxes and rode the Shinkansen to Hiroshima.
Arriving at Hiroshima was surreal. We first went to the Atomic Bomb Dome and it was so chilling. After hearing horror stories from family and learning about it repeatedly during school, finally seeing it brought tears to my eyes. Innocent lives were lost and it could have been prevented.
As we walked to the memorial for those who died in this horrific tragedy, I couldn’t help but feel ashamed to be American knowing the United States decided to bring destruction on this beautiful town and thousands of lives that altered the course of war, politics, and history forever.
My Aunt Chieko mentioned how this city is where I have roots. It is the city where my great-grandpa grew up, where Chieko and the rest of his family lived until the bomb killed part of their family on August 6, 1945.
Aunt Chieko survived the bomb and hearing her story is something not many people hear. She was at school when the bomb detonated. The building was engulfed in flames, luckily she escaped (with some burns), and headed home to find it in flames as well. Her mother and sister had the day off and went into town, their bodies were never found. On this day, her brothers (including my great-grandpa) were in America, in internment camps. They never got to say goodbye to their mother. (I am unsure about their father as I have heard different stories about him on that day)
Today was a hard day but if I’ve learned anything it’s to strive for peace in times of turmoil.