A Moment for Hiroshima.
My first full day in my new town was on August 6, 1990. The day before, a couple of town hall employees had picked me up in Kobe and together we had driven a couple of hours to the small town that would be my home for the next year, a small town, deep in the heart of Southern Japan’s Chugoku Mountains. I was settled into my new home, a spacious, two-story house along side the Maruyama River. That night teachers, administrators and PTA luminaries with the Middle School, where I would teach for the next year, threw a welcome party for me. It was the first of several welcome parties.
The next morning another introductory whirlwind. I was brought to the Principal’s office where I would be officially received. The Vice Mayor and Superintendent of the Board of Education were there, too. In the corner of the Principal’s office a television was on, showing the morning news. Just as the initial introductions were made everything stopped. It was as though the wind suddenly went out of the sails of a previously fast-moving ship. It took me a couple of beats and a quick glance over at the television: it was 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1990, 45 years to the minute that an atomic bomb had detonated over Hiroshima. The television was showing the live service — then with everyone’s heads bowed for 1 minute — from Hiroshima Peace Park. After that moment of reverent silence, we all went on . . .
I visited Hiroshima in the spring of 1991, and did not revist until last year, co-leading a UAB “Study Abroad” trip to Japan.
For more (experience, photos, etc.) from Hiroshima, please see this page, posted here a few weeks ago.