“Rest In Peace, For The Error Shall Not Be Repeated”

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Memorial Monument For Hiroshima City Of Peace. The saddle shaped structure straddles a cenotaph that lists the names of all victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The epitaph on the cenotaph reads “Rest in peace, for the error shall not be repeated”. In the background, frozen in time, is the ravaged shell of the building known as the ‘A Bomb Dome’.—–

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on instagram.com/theurgetowander

59 thoughts on ““Rest In Peace, For The Error Shall Not Be Repeated”

  1. Beautiful and touching. I experienced something similar on a visit to the Auschwitz Extermination Camp. Humans are capable of the greatest good, and the darkest evil. Every school-going child in Germany is required to visit at least one camp in their lifetime. It is a part of their education. And I think that is very important. You need to know what the human mind is capable of.
    Did I digress? Sorry… But your post did stir those feelings in me.

  2. I think it will not happen again … because nobody at the time didn’t really know the consequences that it will bring. Never been in Hiroshima, but been to Nagasaki – but it was before the memorial was built, late 70’s – I was there on the memorial day and all the bells that was ringing. Madhu, what a fantastic post … and you put down so much research job.

  3. URGH! I felt so so sad after reading those words on the “Children Peace Monument” plate. Why do they have to be children 😦 Then, I was fascinated by the Genbaku Dome building. And more importantly, it was nice to read “for the errors shall not be repeated.”

  4. Well Madhu, you certainly touched some strong emotions with this one, well done. Have read much history on this but haven’t seen the monument. I love that it is so graphic and difficult, it should be so! I visited a memorial at a North Vietnam prison camp and found it extremely difficult as well but it is important that we see the graphic results of the world’s horrors as motivation to help stop them. Glorification of war and “victory” of one country or race over another has been the norm for much too long. In so many places it continues even today – your comment about nuclear arsenals in the hands of so many is truly frightening.

  5. I would imagine a feeling of chills visiting here. The people have built a wonderful tribute … but let’s hope another tribute isn’t built in the future anywhere.

  6. Every year my students read the poem, “There will come soft rains,” by Sara Teasdale. It’s included in Ray Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles.” He put this poem together with the images of Hiroshima’s people who were victims of the atomic bomb blast in WWII. Only their images remained – flashed on buildings. It was a tragic time and I do hope it is never repeated.

  7. Harrowing as it may be, I have long thought of visiting Hiroshima’s Peace Park and Museum… at school we learned of Sadako Sasaki and her story has always stayed with me since. Thanks for sharing these words and photos, Madhu.

  8. Such a fine reminder of what happens when the desire for power collides and I hope that history will be the teacher. The world is so full of conflict and the pain of the innocent. Peace!

  9. …For The Error Shall Not Be Repeated … I very much hope for this. A touching post, Madhu, gives me the chills to think about what happened.

  10. Have you been to Hanoi to visit the war museum there? Another place of horrors is the graves associated with the Thai/Burma railway in which millions died some into mass graves. Or the gas chambers of Nazi Germany! And back in history the atrocious custom of putting hooks in the bodies and lips of captives and leading them hundreds of miles to become slaves in a foreign country. Man’s inhumanity to man goes back thousands of years and unfortunately still occurs in countries where war and terror reign supreme. There is no such thing as a United Nations, the strongest rule and mistrust is universal.

  11. I’ve been to the one in Nagasaki. It’s quite a sobering experience. We only stayed in the museum for about five minutes. Hopefully it will never be repeated.

  12. Beautiful memorial, hopeful yet terrible. We can all lift our voices in hope and prayer this stands as a reminder always to the devastation

  13. Together my Japanese friend and I folded and brought 1,000 cranes to Hiroshima the day after the anniversary day. It was quite incredible to be there, together.
    The world will never be without evil in it, since all of us contain evil impulses along with the good.(Let us be honest and unsentimental here.) So the question has to become, how can we deal with evil within and without? What is the least damaging way? I don’t have an answer, any more than anyone else seems to, but I have a few ideas. Like beginning with recognizing our kinship across borders — like what happens on all our blogs all the time — and working from there.

  14. Devastating! It sends chills, Madhu, even from the comfort of home.
    A world without borders- isn’t that the most longed for vision?

  15. My Late Mother-in-law and her family were survivors of that day…
    A wonderful post you have shared…Thank you
    Take Care…you Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

  16. Like your post. Its brutality at it’s best. Man’s arrogance running high over his head and heart. We may pray that this should not happen but we all know the potential of such a catastrophe to happen is more now than earlier. We believe this shall be utopian till there is a world without borders.
    ‘dod’ Rangers

    1. With all the posturing going on in the subcontinent, we might be closer to it than we think. I felt this museum was too graphic and had to walk out midway through a guided tour because I couldn’t bear to see or hear anymore. But I think perhaps this should be mandatory viewing to show people the repercussions of intolerance and belligerence. Doesn’t take too long for things to get out of hand. That is the message the passionate volunteers at Hiroshima want to send out to the world.

      A world without borders!! I hope my grandchildren get to see that. Appreciate your stopping by to share your feelings.

  17. This horror isn’t created by the masses is it? It only takes a few incredible evil creatures. Thanks for sharing this painful reminder that such creatures exist.

  18. It’s hard to read, see, and remember what people have done to people. But it is through posts such as yours, Madhu, that I hope people will not ever do something like this again.

  19. Profound and moving. I am humbled and sometimes mortified by the ramifications of humanity as a whole. We must focus on the positive!!!

    This saddened me because it is a constant in our past. Why? Your tribute and slide show was really well done though. I watched it repeatedly, especially the standing Dome.

  20. I’ve been there as well. The effect of seeing the place in person is quite chilling.

    1. It certainly was for me. I have been to many war and genocide memorials. But this was somehow way more shocking in its presentation.

  21. a moving monument, we visited too, thank you for taking me back there Madhu, the memory of that horrific inhumanity must never be forgotten if we are to avoid such destruction in the future, yet how wonderful that we can move on and be friends with hope for mankind …

    1. Very true Christine. And isn’t that the essence of the museum? That they have moved on with grace is inspirational.

    1. Yes. And hard to write about it as well Meredith. That is why I decided on a wordless post apart from the captions.

    1. It is, considering how many there are lying around! The question is how much longer can we go without dropping one?

  22. Nature is raw, beautiful and vicious. The strong preying on the weak, the weak swelling their numbers to protect themselves… Man is supposed to be better than raw nature. Reminders of the past tell us we’ve a long way yet to go…
    AnnMarie

    1. Very true Ann. And there are plenty more reminders from the recent past to prove that.

  23. We commit so many atrocities it almost becomes numbing…thank you for reminding us not to let that happen

    1. Thanks are due to the volunteers at the site Jo, whose mission is the abolition of nuclear weapons.

  24. ‘mistake’? When people build something like that it is intentional, not a mistake. That or we should believe that they were complete idiots, which I doubt. So let us hope that demented minds won’t get such ‘bright’ ideas again. Thank you, Madhu for the reminder. History should be remembered.

    1. They try hard to make sure we don’t forget Marina, in the most non judgemental way. But proliferation of nukes is a sobering reality, as you stand there witnessing their capabilities.

  25. Impressive entry! But even if what happened makes some men beasts, after all it is what makes us human is our ability to grief, to forgive, change and learn. Without guarantees.

    1. Excellent point, Chris. Madhu, I felt similar feeling when we visited Omaha Beach and other WWII sites a few years ago. Even wars that have to be fought are terrible and take a horrible toll on all involved.

      janet

      1. This memorial, I believe, is about forgiveness and hope Chris. And their aim is a nuclear (weapon) free world.

        Janet, have been to too many myself. And the waste of it all is always overwhelming.

  26. Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What happened there is a disgusting piece of the history of man. Humans make me want to vomit sometimes.

  27. Let us hope for this. But mankind keep doing the same mistakes over and over again. That’s why it is so important to constantly be reminded.

    1. I thought it was excessively grim at the time, but I think now that it is probably necessary. Too many nukes around the world in too many unreliable hands. I never believed in ‘end of world’ theories, but standing there it seemed very plausible.

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