It was a typical Monday morning. People were getting ready to go to work or school or what have you. Then at 813am there was a huge explosion and flash. Thousands of people were killed instantly. Several thousand more would die over the next year from cancers. Buildings were destroyed. In an instant the lives of all those who lived in Hiroshima would be changed forever.
Two years ago, I walked in the peace park in Hiroshima. The picture shown above is of the workers' hall which stood near ground zero. Everyone who was in the building at the time was immediately vapourized by the bomb. The shell of the building stands as a reminder of how inhumane we can be to one another. I could have been filled with such dread and fear for the world's future. But instead of anger and retalliation, the Japanese people have dedicated this park to peace. There is the eternal flame- hope for a peace that will endure. There is the peace gong which one can ring. As it echoes through the grounds, you can hear the prayers of many who hope that the world will never plunge itself into the horrors of war. The scars of that fateful day in 1945 could have heightened the feelings of division and hate, but instead look to a world of change and reconcilliation.
Tomorrow, as I write this, August 6th marks the 76th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb. Peace is still a long held pipe dream. The world has not enjoyed peace since then. How many have died in battles in places like Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine, and so many other places since then? The promise of peace burning in that caludron in the park in Hiroshima still seems so far away. Yet as long as we have ears to hear, may the ringing of that gong echo through our hearts as we pray for peace. Blessings