Hiroshima Artifacts, ca. 1945
These are some memorabilia from World War II that I got from my father. He joined the Army and joined the Medical Corps 361st station hospital, which went to the Philippines. After Japan surrendered, they sailed up Hiroshima Bay and stopped in Kure, where there was a naval hospital. They were just ten miles from Hiroshima, which had just been bombed three weeks earlier. And when they went up to Hiroshima to provide medical care, they found complete devastation. Everything was glazed. And in the rubble, he found these artifacts left over that had not been completely destroyed, but had been blasted with sand that turned to glass from the intense heat of the explosion.
When you opened the box and you brought these out, it was immediately evident to me what they were. It's a little amazing to think that here were American GIs in and amongst the survivors fairly soon after the fact. When you look at an artifact like this, it has a profound impact on you. You realize this was there. This was in Hiroshima when that bomb went off. This was in somebody's house. I've heard the explanation that it was dust and things in the air that were turned to glass. I've also come across individuals who support the idea that it was glass that melted that was in the vicinity of the objects. Every once in a while, an artifact really speaks to you. Just by looking at that artifact, that tells what you need to know about the atomic explosion at Hiroshima. That's why it raised the hair on my arm when you brought it out of the box, and that's one of the reasons why it is profoundly important that these artifacts exist in the world, and that's also a reason why people would be upset that there would be a value associated with them.
Because of the horrendous nature of the event that happened. Artifacts like this are sought out by collectors and museums in order to tell that story. From a monetary value perspective today, a retail price for these on the market would be between $2,000 and $3,000.
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