The Peace Park was further from the station than I expected, maybe 2 km. The first problem was how to cross the road! They obviously expected people to take the tourist bus.
I went there fully laden, as a pilgrim, and headed for the Childrens’ Memorial, topped with a girl and a crane in memory of the little girl who wanted to make 1000 paper cranes for peace before she died.
Inside the memorial is a bell, and here a mother lifts her small child to ring the bell, so that the story will not be forgotten in the next generations. (For some reason, I cannot turn these pictures through 90 degrees.)
Another memorial frames the eternal flame and the dome in the distance, which remained standing after the blast and has been preserved as a small example of the damage to the city’s buildings.
Bet before I got there, a group of large tents caught my eye. This very day, there was a multifaith service – another of the unexpected discoveries of this pilgrimage.
I was just in time to catch the end of it and join the line walking up to offer our silent prayers. I fingered the red beads of my prayer bracelet, repeating to myself the words “God is love, and whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” A nun indicated that I should put incense on a flame, and I did so. Another handed me a goodie bag, which contained a very large apple, a box of cake, and two cupcake-sized beancurd sweets. There was also a stall offering cold coffee and Japanese cookies. So that was my lunch.
The last memorial I visited was one to the victims. In the simple hall I prayed, with the black bead of the bracelet, “Rest eternal grant them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May they Rest In Peace.” Then there was a slide show with the words of some of the survivors.