Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Delegates Retreat

Journey of Repentance participants met last weekend at the Bainbridge Island Buddhist temple to prepare both logistically and spiritually for the trip. We began by listening to and reflecting on a recording of a speech by Hiroshima’s Mayor Akiba from August 6, 2002. In it, he speaks of the continued agony of the Hibakusha, and reminds us that one reason for this is that “their experience appears to be fading from the collective memory of humankind. Having never experienced an atomic bombing, the vast majority around the world can only vaguely imagine such horror…” These word, and others like it, have heavily influenced our journey. We have been asked to listen compassionately to the experiences that we cannot imagine ourselves.

We have been asked to remember so that history cannot repeat itself.

Not everyone who takes part in our Journey of Repentance is able to travel with us physically to Japan. Everyone, everywhere, has an opportunity to hear the testimony of the Hibakusha. The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations has made available the stories of several victims of the A and H Bombs.

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