You’re not alone in your grief
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You’re not alone in your grief

Sapporo : Japan | Dec 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM PST
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Hiroshima Memorial Park

The phrase is what President Obama said during the memorial service speech at Newtown tragedy. Yes, you’re not alone in your grief. There have been thousands and millions of parents, family members who lost their beloved children by heavy arms and/or by air raids right where they live their daily lives.

Still deeply in grief after 67 years is Emiko Okada born 1937 and she was only eight years old when the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima in 1945. In just a flash of moment some 70,000 people wiped out from the soil, including her 12-year-old sister who is still missing. Her sister was among the some 6,000 junior high school students died instantly from the bomb. Even after all those years, Emiko choked when she talked about her missing sister. Time heals your grief over your lost children and brothers and sisters. That what is said, but in many cases it won’t. ‘The grief would be eased when I reunion my sister in heaven,’ Emiko said.

Last Saturday, we had a meeting with Emiko, now 75 to hear about her own experience during the war and her message for peace. She has no intention to blame anyone but only wishes no more tragedy of Hiroshima repeated. Because of the brutality beyond description of the effect of the atomic bomb, she said, GHQ, the then occupying US headquarter in Japan forbid people of Hiroshima to talk about write about and draw about the horrible scene of the aftermath. The picture I uploaded is one of those drawn later time. If you visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, you can see lots of those pictures together with remains of daily life items.

Why Hiroshima now? You may ask. Hiroshima is the starting point that leads to Fukushima tragedy and ultimately could be to the destruction of our Planet Earth that is reluctantly holding over 20,000 nuclear weapons now.

President Obama moved so many peoples’ hearts in his Prague speech in 2010 promising the world without nuclear weapons. Once again he made a very emotional speech last week on his determination of the gun control. I hope his leadership will finally achieve the goal so that no more such tragedy would fall upon innocent American families.

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Hiroshima Mom
Emiko Okada, a survivor from the atomic bomb Hiroshima 1945, talking at the meetng in Sapporo Dec. 15, 2012.
Yoko Otake is based in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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