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Participants’ Impressions at English Testimony 2009

Here are participants’ impressions at Special A-bomb Testimony 2009 on August 6, last year. We received fifty questionnaire sheets. The following are the excerpts. Please download the PDF document for full answers.

Testimony Impressions 2009 (PDF)

Alicia Vasquez
I felt very privileged to be here and hear the testimonies of the survivors. As a public school history teacher in Seattle, I knew about the atomic bomb/WW II from a factual view. However, after visiting the Atomic Bomb Memorial and the Peace Park, I now have a better understanding of the human impact and the consequences of nuclear weapons / war as seen from individual’s experiences. I feel I now have a better understanding of the event, that will only make me a better teacher and help relay a message of peace to my students. I agree with Ogura-san and Hirai-san that the main way to affect peace and cause change is by sharing the message with others. Thank you for sharing your experiences — I felt fortunate to have heard them.

Christina
I think what amazes me the most about these testimonies is the amount of luck involved in surviving the bomb. If the survivors had been in a different location, their fate might have been very different.
For people of my generation, who have not experienced war directly, these stories serve an important purpose in educating students and adults alike. We cannot empathize with an abstract notion of war or bombing, but we can feel empathy for the real people who suffered through these stories. I may never “know” Hiroshima for myself, but that does not mean that I cannot learn from the mistakes of my government. Thank you for re-living your painful past for the sake of future generations.

Timo Strauhal
I found myself becoming emotional and crying because there is still so much pain surrounding the day my country dropped the A-Bomb in 1945.
I read the story of Sadako Sasaki in elementary school and have felt compassion for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki since. I am now an English teacher in northern Japan and am thankful that people speaking today have stated the forgiveness of the American people for the purpose of continuing to strive for world peace.

Minami
By listening to the stories of survivors from A-bomb it’s really scary, but I think that it was scarier for them. By imagining in my it’s so scary but by seeing the film of “Hadasi no Gen” it’s really scary seeing all burnt people and fire so I believe that it will be peace in our world and no more wars.

Susan Gowans
I feel very privileged to have heard the testimonies of the A-bomb victims in English. Their stories are tragic and devastating yet it was very interesting to hear their accounts first hand.
I was very surprised to see that the victims are still very healthy. I hope those victims can continue to tell their stories, allowing people from all over the world feel and understand their suffering and to also feel inspired from their brave attitudes.

More…

Testimony Impressions 2009 (PDF)