I’ve been lucky enough to visit Auschwitz and Cambodia’s Killing Fields in the past, but I’ve never really shared those experiences. This is mostly out of fear of reducing the worst examples of humanity to a social media post or travel story that could appear to be a vein attempt at getting attention, regardless of my intention.
During these times I was grateful for the perspective, grateful for the incredible luck I was given when I was born in a place like Australia as opposed to many other countries. But it is 2018, Trump is in power and well, you know the rest.
Essentially, I feel there is value in sharing the experience I had in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and Memorial Museum.
You can’t not walk around the place that the first ever atomic bomb hit with an incredible pang in the bottom of your gut. I know that in World War 2 Japan were a part of the Axis Forces inflicting much violence of their own, but the sheer death and pain that occurred here transcends nationalism. Little good can come from bombs and nuclear war.
Places like this are built to warn future generations from repeating past mistakes, yet the depressing reality is that conflicts in places like Syria and Yemen (along with the many nuclear-armed countries) suggest that we don’t.
The point I’m trying to make: With a lot of hysteria going around about a World War 3 - which comes from a generation or two that are desensitized to the harsh realities of war - is that now more than ever it is important to remember what has come before us. It is important that we contribute to a better dialogue about a history that we don’t talk about enough.
We can’t keep wasting the gift of hindsight, the gift of history.