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  • Last summer, I visited Japan with my Girl Scout troop. On a particularly sizzling afternoon, we toured the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, where, roughly seventy years ago, an atomic bomb dropped by the U.S had decimated the city.

    I can't say that as an American citizen I felt particularly guilty, but I did feel a deep despair. An apology of sorts. I wanted to apologize in the name of anyone who had ever harmed to anyone who had ever been a victim. I wanted to apologize to those who die in situations just as tragic as this but never get to have their names immortalized in stone or in the ringing of bells.

    In many of the historical displays, there were watches stuck at 8:15, the moment the bomb struck downtown Hiroshima. Those tiny hands held close together moved me more than any skeletal building or paper crane did that day. A hundred thousand deaths paused in a single moment, so many lives inhaling all at once, never to release their breath. So many people suddenly just stopping. Stopping their breathing, stopping their walking, stopping their living.

    Of course I cried.
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