Monday, December 3, 2012

Atomic Bomb Museum

While in Nagasaki, we headed to the Atomic Bomb Museum. It will be difficult to describe the experience. It is something that's important to see, but difficult to take in and really process for a long time.

Entering the museum, you see these cranes, which circle into the entrance.

One of the first things you see entering the museum is this clock, which stopped 11:02 AM, the time the bomb detonated.
They also have pieces of the church that was destroyed by the bomb.

Pieces of the stained glass.

This metal structure was bent by the bomb.
This is a roof tile, which bubbled because the bomb was so hot. The bubbling happen on most of the buildings, if they were not destroy.

Another thing that happened was the shadow of plants was burned onto wood or the sides of building.

Various metals and rocks that were melted by the blast.

Coins melted together.
Melted glass.
As you can see, there are bones of a hand melted into the glass around it.

This horse was facing in the opposite direction when the bomb detonated.
There was a video playing where survivors told their stories, which were devastating and powerful. People listening were crying listening to the testimonies.

One thing that was really overwhelming was the number of women and children that were killed during the blast. While Nagasaki was an important sea port for the war, the number of women and children and the pictures really put into perspective the damage that was done.

13 POWs died, as well as 2000 Korean prisoners.

The bomb was detonated in the middle of the city, rather than near the port or a military base.

While I do understand that the Japanese were being very violent in their own right, the atomic bomb was detonated in the middle of a city, where men, women and children who were not involved in the war were killed. And if they weren't killed, the faced years of recovery from injuries or, as one described it, waiting for the waves of diseases to come, whether in the first year, or years later in the form of various cancers.

One thing that I noticed during the visit was the fact that at no point did they blame the United States for the bombing. They never said it was terrible for it to happen, but that the world needs to unite and make sure that it never happens again. They not only had survivors of Nagasaki tell their stories in videos, but also they had videos from various cities where nuclear plants exist and the cancer and disease that results from them, including the one in western Washington.
It definitely made me reconsider everything I've ever known about World War II, or at the very least, will make me read from more perspectives what happened that day.

This was below this picture which we couldn't take a picture of. You can also read the story on that blog as well.

It is an incredibly sad story and made me tear up both at the museum and reading it again just now.

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