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Article ID:0000007289Updated on:2019年10月21日更新印刷ページ表示

Fundraising campaign for the preservation of the Atomic Bomb Dome

On July 11, 1966, the Hiroshima City Council passed a resolution to preserve the Atomic Bomb Dome, and on November 11, our city began a fundraising campaign. After reaching the original objective of 40 million yen, the campaign was concluded on March 14, 1967. The campaign gathered much goodwill, and by July 31, a total of 66,197,816 yen in donations had been received from within Japan and abroad, with the number of contributors exceeding 1.3 million.

Fundraising Prospectus

 It has been 21 years since the dreadful day.
 Yet the sight of Hiroshima that morning, a scene of disaster beyond anything we could ever imagine, will never vanish from our minds. The city was instantly burnt to the ground, and the lives of more than 200,000 people were indiscriminately and brutally taken. What we experienced can only be described as a hell worse than hell.
 This indescribable misery is not only an ominous implication of how the future of war will be transformed by nuclear weapons, but also warns of the threat of the annihilation of mankind. Nevertheless, if we can convert the efforts and creativity previously devoted to war to social development, it is not impossible to build a peaceful world. Using our past as a valuable lesson is the one and only way to give lasting meaning to the sacrifice of the A-bomb victims, and it is our responsibility to give this profound contribution to humankind.
 Since that fateful day, led by the tremendous efforts and ordeals of those who just barely managed to survive the tragedy, Hiroshima’s reconstruction progressed, and the burnt city has been fully resurrected into a symbol of peace. Through the recovery process, the traces of the bombing have mostly been erased, with only the Atomic Bomb Dome remaining.
 The building which is now the Atomic Bomb Dome was originally built as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall in 1915. Located almost directly beneath the point of the bomb’s detonation, it escaped complete destruction by experiencing the pressure of the explosion from directly above, which is why the skeletal structure remains standing.
 With this in mind, the Atomic Bomb Dome is a proper memorial of the tragedy that occurred in Hiroshima and serves as a point from which to speak about the bombing. We realize that the Atomic Bomb Dome is far too small to faithfully represent the disaster, of an unprecedented scale in human history. We also know that as the only remaining relic, it may act as a bitter reminder to many citizens still burdened by painful memories of the war.
 But regardless of individual feelings, we feel the Atomic Bomb Dome should by all means be preserved.
 We should never forget that we must always live looking towards the future. Although completely forgetting and dismissing painful past memories may be one way to live, I believe it is more valuable to transform those memories into a lesson so that past mistakes are not repeated, and to search for a new future. Ruins from the bombing are not only a reminder of the cruel damage inflicted on Hiroshima, but a warning signal to humanity, which in this nuclear age stands at the crossroads of destruction or prosperity, and a commandment to never repeat this mistake. In this sense, we would like to have the Dome serve as a guidepost to the future. Preserving the Atomic Bomb Dome is not only a responsibility to our future generations, but is a natural mission in our good conscience as fellow members of the human race. In other words, we are not preserving this as a remnant of resentment and hostility, but as a symbol of our remorse as part of the human family, and of our prayers for peace.
 The Atomic Bomb Dome is intimately connected with the Peace Memorial Park, which houses the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims at its center. The Dome serves as one of the important memorial points, along with the Peace Memorial Museum, Flame of Peace, and Peace Bell.
 Twenty-one years have already passed since the atomic bombing, and we cannot avoid the possibility of the Dome’s collapse unless work is done to preserve it. Thus, we would like to undertake construction to maintain the Dome in its original condition, along with environmental maintenance measures in the areas surrounding the Dome.
 We would like to ask for the cooperation of as many people as possible towards our preservation efforts. In this sense, we will not cease to request cooperation not only from within our borders, but from people who pray for peace all around the world.
 In following with the above reasons, I sincerely call for everyone’s support towards the preservation of the Atomic Bomb Dome.

November 1, 1966

Shinso Hamai
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima

 A fundraising campaign was also conducted for the second preservation work, gathering 395,025,026 yen. The remaining donation money was reserved in the Atomic Bomb Dome Preservation Project Fund and used for the third preservation work, as well as allocated to the preservation surveys.

 


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