Gottemoeller becomes first U.S. Under Secretary to offer flowers at Cenotaph for A-bomb Victims

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of the U.S. State Department, visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on April 11 and offered flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. She also listened to the account of an A-bomb survivor and learned about the reality of the damage caused by the atomic bombing.

Ms. Gottemoeller was guided through the park by Yasuyoshi Komizo, chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. After bowing, she gazed silently at the cenotaph for 45 seconds. She also toured Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, where she spent about 40 minutes studying the artifacts on display, including a charred lunchbox and photographs of survivors with severe burns.

At the International Conference Center Hiroshima, she listened to the account of Keiko Ogura, 76, a survivor who lives in Naka Ward, Hiroshima. Ms. Ogura was 8 at the time of the atomic bombing and experienced the blast in the Ushita area, part of present-day Higashi Ward, 2.4 kilometers from the hypocenter. Ms. Ogura said, “She listened with a sympathetic ear. I was impressed when she said to me that we should join hands and work for world peace.”

(Originally published on April 12, 2014)