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‘We gathered as a group conscience’ mourning lives lost at Hiroshima, Nagasaki

The Loose Park fountain and flags of countries that have ratified the nuclear weapon ban treaty graced the setting for the Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembrance.--Photos by Jim Hannah

By Elise Cossairt

As I sat there on Aug. 6, in Loose Park, watching the rainbow in the pond’s fountain, an intense feeling of sadness washed over me. The fact that unattainable exact figures (in the hundreds of thousands) of people had lost their lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 78 years ago left an intense pain in my chest. It is my belief that we are all interconnected and life is the most valuable and precious gift. All those women, children, and men were robbed of the ability to reap the benefits of this gift. Countless others were left suffering and in turmoil. This was only the beginning.

The volunteers that spoke and gave their time were phenomenal! The stories and poetry brought tears to my eyes as we all gathered as a group conscience, to remember and grieve the lives that were lost. I got chills when the poets shared their interpretations. Hiroko Komiya’s retelling of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes was a gut-wrenching expression of what the natives of Hiroshima and Nagasaki endured. These battles are something I can only imagine. If I combined all my worst experiences, they couldn’t surmount to losing my home, my family, or my life.

Hiroko Komiya offers copies of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes to people to read to children in their families.

The volunteers that spoke and gave their time were phenomenal! The stories and poetry brought tears to my eyes as we all gathered as a group conscience, to remember and grieve the lives that were lost. I got chills when the poets shared their interpretations. Hiroko Komiya’s retelling of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes was a gut-wrenching expression of what the natives of Hiroshima and Nagasaki endured. These battles are something I can only imagine. If I combined all my worst experiences, they couldn’t surmount to losing my home, my family, or my life.

I will never understand the thought processes that led to the approval of this horrific event. As a species, we are so destructive! I cannot fathom the benefit of wiping out hundreds of thousands of humans and leaving that area of the Earth in disrepair. My heart bleeds for the innocent lives that were lost and the mass destruction that was left in the bomb’s wake.

My only hope is that humanity can learn from our mistakes and build a better, more collective, world for generations to come. If we refuse to grow, we will surely suffer the same experiences over and over again. None of the people killed will ever get to appreciate the rainbow in the fountain, the beauty of a poem, or the comfort of being surrounded by love.

~ Elise Cossairt is a data analyst at Amazon, and a lover of all creatures. She likes to help those in need and care for her numerous pets. She believes in the power of positivity and aims to be the best friend and loving human she can. © 2023, Elise Cossairt, Jim Hannah, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License

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