Martin Hickey 1986-2005 RIP

Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
Trip End Nov 15, 2005

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"Sitting on my own, Chewing on a bone a thousand million miles from home when something hit me somewhere right between the eyes!"

Thw words curtsey of Mr Noel Gallagher were exactly how I felt sipping on a beer in a posh Japenese Hotel restaurant on Sunday 13th November. The news that had hit me somewhere between the eyes was that my 19 year old cousin Martin had died. Martin was a shining example to all of us, he was diagnosed with spina bifida as a baby and given 6 months to live. Despite this he proved all the doctors wrong and gave us 19 wonderful years. I've never known anyone with his spirt and all those that know martin know he had a wicked sense of humor. When my Uncle Pete took Martin to an Oasis concert and Liam Gallagher was abusing the crowd, Pete turned round to see Martin given Liam the V sign. Martin will be sorely missed by a lot of people and I'd like to dedicate this entry to him.

The weekend had started with us catching a J League Football match between Hiroshoma Sanfrecce and Oita Trinita. We watched the home side stumble to an embarrassing four nil defeat. Rob and I with the help of a few cheekier joined in with the hardcore home support and lend our vocal support to the cause. I'm not sure the home support knew what to make of a couple drunken 6 foot plus English guys singing and swearing in English. After the game i thought it would be a good idea to steal a traffic cone and put it on an empty seat in the middle of rush hour. The Japenese people the polite people they are didn't complain and in fact most seem to find it quite amusing. On the underground on the way back to our hostel a couple of 16 year old Japenese School took a shining to us and the cone. One of the girls was very pretty while the other was a shoe in for the Japenese darts team. After swapping photos and E-Mail address we headed home for some dinner and then bed.

The Next day we set off to see the sights struck by the first nuclear bomb ever used against mankind. We stared out trip at the A bomb Dome which is the symbol of the destruction that the Nucelar bomb caused. The site was declared a Uneso World heritage site in December 1996. The Automic bomb exploded 600 meters directly above the Dome and is the only reason its propped upped structure remained when almost everything else in a 2km radius of the bomb was turned to rubble.

We then moved on to the Peace Memorial Park which contains a cenotaph with the names of all the known victims of the bomb. The cenotaph frames the flame of peace, which will only be extinguished once the last nuclear weapon on the planet has been destroyed. The park also contains the Children's Peace Memorial which was inspire by the story of Sadako. Sadako 10 was diagnosed with leukemia 8 years after the infamous day of August 6 1945. After being diagnosed Sadako decided to fold a thousand paper cranes the sign of longevity and happiness in Japan, and was convinced that if she could achieve her target she would recover. Sadly she died before reaching the target but inspired by her courage Sadako's classmates finished the cranes for her. The story inspired a nationwide bout of paper-crane folding,which continues to this day.

We then went next door to the Peace Memorial Museum which expresses a simple message driven home with a sledgehammer force. I can honestly say it was by far the best and most interesting museum I have ever been to. In the east wing the museum tells the story off Hiroshima before the war, the Manchurian incident and explains why America dropped the bomb. The exhibit of before the bomb was dropped and the exhibit of after impact shows exactly how much damage it did. The East Wing concludes with the current state of the Nuclear weapons in the world and reiterates despite all the lessons learned by Hiroshima we our if not more in danger then we were 60 years ago of an apocalyptic nuclear war. In the West Wing it gave you the human side of the tragedy and included artifacts and exhibits of people caught up in the tradgey.The exhibits included dead skins and finger nails of the victims. Anyone who wasn't moved by the museum wouldn't be human. I'm not an emotional guy but the museum certainly brought a tear to the eye.

For lunch we went to the fantastic Pizza Mario Expresso where I enjoyed a set meal of soup,garlic bread, Spaggethi in a creamy scallop sauce and a drink for less then a 1,000 yen (5 pounds). We then went onto an Internet cafe where i found out the sad news about my cousin. The rest of the day as you can imagine was a sombre affair. In the evening Rob and I drank a bottle of delightful Japenese Malt Wiskey into the early hours of the morning while talking about life, death and love.

Pete,Lorraine,Melisa and Daniella my thoughts our with you at this difficult time.Martin was loved by a lot of people and touched so many with his spirit in his wonderful but all to short life. I'm so sorry I cant make the Funeral but i will be thinking about you all.

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