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Hiroshima (Japan), Aug 6 (Canadian-Media): With passage of 75 years since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings took place, and decline in the number of survivors, a new generation of present storytellers and advocates are considering to take on the task of preserving these memories as a way to illustrate the horror of nuclear war and push for change, media reports said.
Hiroshima Bombing. Image credit: Twitter handle
On Aug. 6, 1945, Toshiko Ishikawa, then aged 12, after seeing a blinding flash of light and hearing a "pop" before the ground started shaking and along with her friend was buried under the remains of nearby buildings in Hiroshima.
After being unconscious for a few moment, when she awoke to screaming, she realizing her friend was trapped beside her and her stepmother was above her. After she was dug out she saw that her house had collapsed.
"I looked to see my house, but it was gone," Ishikawa later told her daughter, Kathleen Burkinshaw. "Out of the corner of my eye, I could see fires and they looked like they were twirling. And ... I knew that's where my papa was," reported by CBC News.
Kathleen Burkinshaw. Image credit: Twitter handle
Ishikawa died five years ago at the age of 82, after witnessing the deaths of nearly all her immediate family members and could not witness the 75th anniversary of the tragic events.
According to official records there are fewer than 140,000 hibakusha, the name given to survivors of the atomic bombs the U.S. dropped.
More that 325,000 people had lost their lives as a result of the bombs and their aftermath, Hiroshima City says, including nearly 5,000 who died in the past year. The average age of the survivor is at least 83 years.
The reason that Burkinshaw continues to share her mother's story, an action that arms control experts say, to preserve the memory of portraying the true horror of nuclear destruction.
In 2017, Setsuko Thurlow, a hibakusha based in Toronto, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons for its work advocating for a UN treaty to ban the weapons.
Although the UN treaty to ban the weapons has been approved by 40 countries, none of the world's nuclear powers or major allies, like Canada and Japan, have signed on.
Ishikawa didn't speak much about the bombing to Burkinshaw, not even telling her daughter that she was from Hiroshima until she turned 11. "That was because of the nightmares she would have," Burkinshaw, 51, said from her home in Charlotte, N.C. "I remember being woken up with her screaming, every beginning of August," CBC News reported.
After the bomb was dropped, people in Hiroshima were told it would be at least 75 years until trees bloomed again.
Sachi Komura Rummel, now 83 and living in Vancouver, who barely spoke about her experiences with the bombing for most of her life, said when blossoms appeared the following spring, it will show the city that the people had a future, a message she hopes to have a small hand in passing on.
"I'm just planting seeds, small seeds, to peace. But that seed will grow in the future and then it will spread to create a peaceful world. That's my dream," said Rummel, CBC News reported.