Having been to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum I have no words*. These are the direct transcriptions of the information for three photos on display.
Shinichi Tetsutani (then 3 years and 11 months) loved to ride his tricycle. That morning he was riding in front of his house when, in a sudden flash, he and his tricycle were badly burned. He died that night. His father felt that he was too young to be buried in a lonely grave away from home, and thinking he could still play with his tricycle, he buried Shinichi with it in the back yard. In the summer of 1985, forty years later, his father dug up Shinichi’s remains and transferred them to the family grave. This tricycle and helmet, after sleeping with Shinichi for all those years were donated to The Peace Memorial Museum.
Kazuhiko Sasaki (then 12), a first year student at First Hiroshima Prefectural High School was exposed in the school building while waiting to move to his building demolition site. His mother desperately walked the city alone searching for him. On the morning of August 8th, she found his body near the school’s pool and cremated him there. The family later found his shoe in the rubble nearby and treasured it as a keepsake. The shoe has a hole that Kazuhiko had covered with thick paper so he could continue to wear it.
Shigeru Orimen was a first year student at Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School. He was exposed to the bomb at his building demolition work site. Early in the morning of August 6, his mother found a body with this lunch box clutched under his stomach. The lunch Shigeru never ate was charred black.
* I changed my mind. On reading in the local newspaper this morning that President Obama will be soon visiting Hiroshima, something occurred to me. How is the mourning of the parents above any different from the parents of the children in Sudan or Pakistan or Afghanistan that have been killed in President Obama approved air strikes? Or the parents of children killed in Aleppo, or killed in Isis attacks all over the world, or Israeli attacks on Palestinians. The list goes on.
Thankfully we never had another bombing of the scale of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but we still have a long way to go. In the meantime let us think about all the Shinichis, Kazuhikos and Shigerus, all over the world. Past, present and future. Especially future.