Tag Archives: Hong Kong

You’re In The Navy Now Part~11

9 Oct

 A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Navy

 

On a guided tour of the island, we stopped for lunch at a beautiful restaurant located at the top of one of the high hills overlooking Victoria Harbor, where we could see Kowloon, Mainland China in the distance.1  That sight gave me a very uncomfortable feeling at the time, knowing I was eating lunch that close to Communist China.  Another part of the tour was to the amazing Tiger Balm Gardens.  The gardens consist of acres of Chinese figures cut into a hillside, and painted some of the most vivid colors you can imagine.  Overall, the trip to Hong Kong was really great, and a one-of-a-lifetime experience. I would like to go back some day to see how it has changed over the years, as modern pictures show a very modern city compared to what I remember.

A few months later, Hector’s six-month tour of duty in Sasebo was extended, and the ship made another quick trip, this time to Nagasaki, 2Japan.  I can’t remember just what the occasion was for our visit, but the day after we got there the ship hosted an “Open House” for the Japanese people.  We had the ship roped off so the visitors would walk in a line, in one direction, through only certain areas.  We had a solid stream of people, walking through the ship all day long, and I didn’t notice until it was all over, but all those wooden shoes the Japanese women wear had chipped the paint right off the decks, everywhere the tour went on the ship.

Our stay in Nagasaki was short, however, one of the most interesting 3places I visited while there, was the “Ground Zero Museum.”  The museum houses many graphic artifacts from the ruins of the city, and photographs of what was left of the city after the Atomic Bomb (Fat Man) was exploded 1540 feet above the city on August 9, 1945.

The devastation was total, and this was another time, when being in that spot, gave me a very uneasy feeling.  Think about it.  Here I was, standing at “Ground Zero” only 12 years after that history changing event.  Was all the radiation gone?  How long did it take for it to be safe for people to tread on this uniquely damaged soil?  Was I being zapped as I stood there?  Those were some of the thoughts that were running through my mind, as I remembered what had happened at this very spot on the day the world came to an end for roughly 70,000 people.

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                                                            —–To Be Continued—–

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