The Memorial Tower Message (Back of the Front Chamber)
Message Inscribed on the Pacific War Air Raid Victims National Memorial
The following message is inscribed on the back of the front chamber.
The horror of the Pacific War ended on August 15, 1945, with Japan's unconditional surrender. For about seven years after the war ended, Japan was under the occupation of the Allied forces, but on April 28, 1952, the Treaty of San Francisco went into effect, finally returning sovereignty to our nation.
At this period in history, the government honored those who had sacrificed their lives for the war and offered condolences to their families, but the same respects were not paid to the many innocent civilians who were defenseless in the face of the unforgiving aerial bombings, and ultimately suffered tragic and violent deaths. The National League of War-Damaged Cities, which was formed by the 113 cities around Japan that were reduced to ruins in the flames of the war, the horrors of which were unlike any that we have ever witnessed in the past, put all their strength into reconstruction efforts since its formation in January 1947. However, the goal was not only to rebuild these cities in form, but also to console the souls of the victims of the urban aerial bombings whom the government had not included in their efforts to honor the war dead. Thus, on May 17, 1952, in the 10th general meeting held in Fukui, a unanimous decision was made to build the Memorial Tower to honor those who lost their lives in the cities that were damaged by the aerial bombings during the Pacific War. Himeji was decided as the location, where the National League of War-Damaged Cities was first formed.
As these efforts were first announced, waves of support came in from cities all over the country, as expected, including elementary school children, junior high and high school students, women's organizations, and people from all levels of society and occupations, all offering large sums of monetary donations. Therefore, the Memorial Tower is a manifestation of genuine expressions of condolences and respect of citizens around the nation.
The significance of this is that it makes this monument a place where the bereaved souls of the victims of aerial bombings in the Pacific War are laid to rest while enveloped in the warm love of their fellow countrymen, while also serving as a reminder of the horrific nature of the war. It also serves to remind future generations that war bears witness to both the living and the dead of the destruction of nations, leaving only the natural surroundings intact, and to the hardships of reconstruction. Furthermore, it instructs all people from around the world that we must resolve to make the utmost efforts to prevent war, serving as a monument where the voices of visitors are transmitted to all corners of the world as prayers for peace.