|"I, too, am a hibakusha" (nuclear bomb survivor)--in spirit|
For her years of humanitarian and moral support to the survivors of the first two nuclear bombs dropped on human beings in 1945 and for founding the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima in 1965, the hibakusha (literally "fire-bombed people") determined to build a monument to her.
It has been years in the making, involving the forming of a Monument Committee, the drawing up of plans by a design company, many changes in wording and photo used in the design, and permits from the International Peace Promotion Department, City of Hiroshima for permission to erect the monument in the SE corner of their Ground Zero.
Not the least of the obstacles the committee had to overcome were the strong objections by some members of our family to spending money on a monument to Mum at all, and to calling attention to her rather than giving the money and attention to the survivors themselves. They pointed out that Mum herself opposed the idea during her life.
But the hibakusha persisted.
Others of us kept correcting, fine-tuning the English wording on the monument or preferring a different photo (the original choice, which was black and white, looked "grim," as my brother Ted put it).
Each request for a change required that the Monument Committee reconvene to consider it. (Finally, I see, they scrapped the over-critiqued text and kept only one quote and the fact that Mum founded the World Friendship Center.)
This is the proposed monument, one of only three monuments dedicated to foreigners at Hirohima's Ground Zero.:
|Monument to Barbara Reynolds, SE corner of Peace Park, Hiroshima|
Lord willing, this is where Jerry and I will be on June 12.