Today, August 1, 2018, my group of students and I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. As we approached the front entrance, a woman ran up to me and handed me a small wrapper bag containing a paper crane with the words, 'Welcome to Hiroshima - Peace begins with a smile.' The woman's simple gesture moved me deeply, setting the tone for what was to come in the visit to the museum. One item on exhibit stood out: a child's badly damaged tricycle. A little boy riding his tricycle was killed in the explosion, and his grieving father buried him and his tricycle in the backyard of their destroyed home.
In 1985, forty years after the attack, the father dug up his child and reburied him elsewhere. He gave the tricycle to the museum, which put it on display. Seeing the tricycle stopped me in my tracks. What had that little child done to deserve such a terrible death? To impress the Russians? To demonstrate American prowess in nuclear combat? How could any rationale justify the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Hundreds of thousands of people died in the two attacks. How is that not terrorism? The child's tricycle stands in mute reproach of mankind's inhumanity.