I did not expect the tears — Guest post by Carol Hallman for Hiroshima Remembrance

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Carol Hallman wrote this to me and included these photographs of the Atomic Dome **… “I just got back from Japan a couple of weeks ago. I was greatly moved by the Atomic Dome in Hiroshima and so I wrote the attached piece in response to that. August 6th is Hiroshima Day of Remembrance.” 

There was a time when there would never be a worship service at the beginning of August that did not include a prayer for peace, a children’s message with cranes, a deep sadness … and many tears. Here are her words. You are freely given permission to share her them with attribution.

I did not expect
The tears

Standing on the
Holy Ground of

In the shadow
Of the dome
The ruins stand

Testament to
war bombs
hate fear

I did not expect
The tears
For people long dead

Perhaps they were
The lucky ones
No hanging onto life

So many others
Radiation sickness
Cancer lingering
But just as deadly
Killing just as surely

I did not expect
The tears
At the starkness of
The reminder
Of what war brings

Lives unlived unfulfilled
Dreams lost
Families torn apart

The bricks lie
Precisely as they
Did that day
There is a sense
Of voices long silenced

Cries long gone
Fire is out
Fear gone

I did not expect
The tears
Take off your shoes
Holy ground indeed
The Peace bell
Rings echoing
Offering hope

And a reminder
That we aren’t there

I did not expect
The tears
But they came
In remembrance
Of what once was

They came
In sorrow and in
Hope of a better

** The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (広島平和記念碑 Hiroshima Heiwa Kinenhi), is the site of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, now commonly called the Genbaku Dome, or Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム Genbaku Dōmu). The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruin of the exhibition hall memorializes those who were killed in the atomic bombing which obliterated Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Intended for the Aioi Bridge, the bomb instead exploded directly over the Shima Hospital, near to the Genbaku Dome. Because the explosion was directly overhead, it retained its shape. Over 70,000 people were killed instantly by the bomb, and another 70,000 suffered fatal injuries from the radiation.

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1 Response to I did not expect the tears — Guest post by Carol Hallman for Hiroshima Remembrance

  1. Pingback: Hiroshima Day, August 6th | pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au

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