Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a large park in the center of Hiroshima, Japan. It is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack on August 6, 1945, which led to the death of as many as 140,000 people by the end of 1945.
The location of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was once the city’s busiest downtown commercial and residential district.
The park was built on open field that was created by the explosion.
Today there are a number of memorials and monuments, museums, and lecture halls which draw over a million visitors annually. The purpose of the Peace Memorial Park is to not only memorialize the victims, but also to establish the memory of nuclear horrors and advocate world peace.
The A-Bomb Dome is the skeletal ruins of the former Industrial Promotion Hall. It is the building closest to the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb that remained at least partially standing. It was left how it was after the bombing in memory of the casualties.
The Children's Peace Monument is a statue dedicated to the memory of the children who died as a result of the bombing. The statue is of a girl with outstretched arms with a folded paper crane rising above her. The statue is based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died from radiation from the bomb. She believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes she would be cured. To this day, people (mostly children) from around the world fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima where they are placed near the statue. The statue has a continuously replenished collection of folded cranes nearby.
The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound is a large, grass-covered knoll that contains the ashes of 70,000 unidentified victims of the bomb.
Near the center of the park is a concrete, saddle-shaped monument that covers a cenotaph holding the names of all of the people killed by the bomb. The cenotaph carries the epitaph, "Repose ye in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated." Through the monument you can see the Peace Flame and the A-Bomb Dome. The Memorial Cenotaph was one of the first memorial monuments built on open field on August 6, 1952. It is built in Shinto style. The arch shape represents a shelter for the souls of the victims.
The Peace Flame is another monument to the victims of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, but it has an additional symbolic purpose. The flame has burned continuously since it was lit in 1964, and will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.
The Peace Bell stands near the memorial to the A-Bomb Children and consists of a large Japanese bell hanging inside a small open-sided structure. Visitors are encouraged to ring the bell for world peace and the loud and melodious tolling of this bell rings out regularly throughout the Peace Park.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is the primary museum in the park dedicated to educating visitors about the bomb. The Museum has exhibits and information covering the build up to war, the role of Hiroshima in the war up to the bombing, and extensive information on the bombing and its effects, along with substantial memorabilia and pictures from the bombing. The building also offers some marvelous views of the Memorial Cenotaph, Peace Flame, and A-Bomb Dome.
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks near the end of World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States at the executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. After six months of intense fire-bombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare. Fifteen to twenty percent of the victims died from injuries or illness attributed to radiation poisoning. Since then, more have died from leukemia and solid cancers attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians.
A postwar "Little Boy" casing mockup
The energy released by the bomb was powerful enough to burn through clothing. The dark portions of the garments this victim wore at the time of the blast were emblazoned on to the flesh as scars, while skin underneath the lighter parts (which absorb less energy) was not damaged as badly.
Sadako Sasaki , January 7, 1943 – October 25, 1955) was a Japanese girl who lived in Hiroshima, Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped. Sadako was only two years old on August 6, 1945 when she became a victim of the atomic bomb. At the time of the explosion Sadako was at home, about 1 mile from ground zero. By November 1954, lumps had developed on her neck and behind her ears. Then in January 1955, purple spots had started to form on her legs. Subsequently, she was diagnosed with leukemia, which her mother referred to as "an atom bomb disease.“ She was hospitalized on February 21, 1955 and given, at the most, a year to live. Inspired by the Japanese saying that one who folded 1,000 cranes was granted a wish, she started folding them herself. A popular version of the story is that she fell short of her goal of folding 1,000 cranes, having folded only 644 before her death, and that her friends completed the 1,000 and buried them all with her.
Statue of Mother and Child in the Storm This bronze statue was presented to the City of Hiroshima by the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs during the Fifth World Conference. The statue depicts a mother holding an infant tightly in one arm and protecting another with the determination to survive whatever suffering may confront her. Representing fierce and beautiful maternal love and devotion, this statue shows that mothers need to fight to protect their children from nuclear weapons.
THE END "A visit to the Peace Park and the Peace Memorial Museum allows the visitor a glimpse into the horror of the world's first use of the atomic bomb against people on 6 August 1945. It is a reminder that we must work together to make sure that such a tragedy never happens again." http://rosella.apana.org.au/~mlb/cranes/peaceprk.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_Peace_Memorial_Park