I haven't been to Hiroshima, yet. And, I want to go. But, going to a place like that takes mental preparation--well, for me it does. I'm not a history buff, but I feel it's important to see these type of sites and learn from them.
I definitely think visiting historic places like Pearl Harbor and Dachou have made me more open minded and sympathetic to others.
When Husband was in Germany and we were dating (kinda sorda), we went to Dachau (a Nazi German concentration camp near Munich). Seeing the crematorium will haunt me forever. I remember walking into a place where hundreds (possible millions) of men, women, and children had been killed. I remember seeing pictures of bodies stacked up waiting to be burned. Seeing those sights still bother me, and I can see them so clearly in my mind. Memories like that never fade, no matter how hard you try.
So, it's amazing how my mind works--seeing an old man with burn scares automatically makes me think the US was responsible. It's amazing how I can feel guilty for something I had no part in. Yet, I am. I guess being a mother has made me more aware of the world and the people in it. I'm aware of a mother's pain no matter where she is in the world. I could only imagine how the mothers felt as they watched their children burn when the bomb was dropped in Hiroshima. And, I can only imagine how the mothers felt when their children were taken from them and shot in Dachau, later to be cremated. I have never felt that type of pain in my life and I pray I never have to.
Yet, I feel guilty knowing my country killed and burned so many civilians during the war. I know the Japanese killed thousands of Americans, too. I've seen their handy work in Pearl Harbor. But, living among Japanese people, it just doesn't seem possible that these kind, honorable people could ever be part of something so terrible.
I know, I need medication...I'm a lunatic...but, I've come to terms with it already....and so has Husband!