Paying our respects at the National Memorial Arboretum

The National Memorial Arboretum is our national monument in the UK to those fallen in the wars since WW2. I always see it on the news – normally the Queen is there laying a wreath on poppy day – so I thought we should pay it a visit.

It feels very inappropriate to say, but we actually had a nice day out there. There is a large glossy visitors centre (which feels very american – the type of thing you get in the National Parks) so we had a lovely lunch in the cafe there first, before going for a stroll round the park. Continue reading


Hiroshima: A Horrible History Lesson

Our main reason for visiting Hiroshima was its infamous past. During the Second World War the USA dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, on 6 August 1945. We were interested to see the memorials and museums, and also to see the city today, 60-odd years since the bomb.

Amazingly, the building directly under where the bomb was dropped, the epicentre if you will, survived. It is obviously not perfectly intact, but it is still standing and has been left as a monument to the event. The rest of the city around that one building was flattened, and has since been rebuilt.

We visited the peace museum and learnt about what happened; the context of the bombing and the aftermath. There were artifacts of objects recovered, and stories of people killed that day in the most unimaginably horrific ways, or through cancers afterwards. It moved me to tears. Continue reading