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Daily Updates: Sunday, September 03, 2006 - Morning Session

Hiroshima, Japan -  Morning Session:

The final day of the conference was highlighted with a youth forum, featuring students from New York, Washington and Hiroshima, and a testimony by Hibakusha (a survivor of the atomic bomb).

Lehman College students and alumni, Michelle Augustine, Frank Kritton, Jennifer Herrera and Monique McPherson, joined Japanese students to address the audience in a youth forum entitled “Building a Peaceful Tomorrow.” In the forum, presentations from various Japanese groups displayed images of the devastation left by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all students participating in the panel discussed some of the challenges they will be facing in the process of educating next generations into a culture of peace.

Following the student’s presentations and discussion, Hibakusha, a woman who survived the atomic blast shared her memories from the devastation left in the midst of the bombings.

Hibakusha described what she saw and how she assisted some of the wounded, including her mother, who bled to death in front of her eyes. She also described how her job became to scare flies away from his wounded father for entire days.

“I saw a baby dying while trying to suck his mother’s nipples,” said Hibakusha. “I will never forget that image, or the image of people walking like ghosts, bleeding with no hair or parts of their bodies, the mountains of dead bodies.”

Habakusha said there was so much devastation, that many survivors became insensitive to pain. “We no longer felt emotional pain. The bomb also knocked off our senses.”

The dozens of attendees applauded Hibakusha’s speech and gave her a standing ovation.