My Prayer for Peace

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One World English Course 3 (2021) pg. 92-96

My Prayer for Peace
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BookOne World

Hello, everyone. I am Koyama Yuto from Hiroshima. What is the most important thing in the world? Wealth? Health? Love? These things are surely very important, but there is one thing that might be basic to them all. That is peace. Today I'd like to talk about three topics involving teenagers like you and me. I hope my speech will make you think about peace.
Have you ever been to Hiroshima? If you have a chance to visit, please take a tram. There are six tramlines, and the network is actually the longest and most used in Japan. There are nearly 300 tram cars, and many of them are from other cities like Kyoto and Kobe. Hiroshima trams will take you to many interesting places such as Miyajima, Hiroshima Castle, and Peace Memorial Park.

In fact, Hiroshima trams are interesting in themselves, because they are a symbol of reconstruction from the atomic bomb. The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The city and the tram network were destroyed in an instant. Amazingly, some trams started to run just three days after the bomb. The tram conductors were school girls of our age! Three of the trams which survived the bomb are still in service.
There is a manga based on Hiroshima trams and the tram workers. It is called A Story of a Girl Who Survived the Atomic Bomb. This manga shows the strength of people when they try to recover from severe difficulty.

Have you ever heard of In This Corner of the World, or Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni, a manga by Fumiyo Kono? There is also an animated film based on the manga. This work shows us how people in Hiroshima lived during the war.
I watched the film some years ago, and was shocked at many scenes. The main character, Suzu, loses her hand in a terrible accident, but she determines to face reality and carry on with her life. I think this is shown by her decision to bring up a little girl who lost her family just after the atomic bomb.

Barack Obama visited Hiroshima in 2016 and became the first sitting U.S. President to do so. He made a speech then. It started like this:
"Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed."
The speech helped me realize the importance of peace again. He visited the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and handed two origami cranes he made himself to elementary and junior high students there. He entrusted his message to us.

People say, "History repeats itself," but there is one event in history that should never be repeated. That is war. We should never have another war. Instead, we should have peace in this world. Let's pray and act together for peace!

See also