On Sunday we were walking through downtown Denver and found The CELL. It is a museum that advertises as “It could happen to anyone, anytime, any where.” The CELL stands for the Counterterrisom Education Learning Lab. Basically you walk through the museum and it reveals the history and development of terrorism. At the beginning of the tour you are given a card to slide into machines throughout the tour. Each machine gives you a little insight on a person affected by terrorism. Below is the story that I received.
Tsuneo Hishinuma was born in Japan in 1944. He lived in a small two-story house with his wife, Michiko, and son, Tomohiro, in a quiet community 90 miles north of Tokyo. He worked as a stationmaster for the Tokyo subway, one of the busiest underground transit systems in the world. Because of the long distance to work, Tsuneo was known to work double shifts so he could earn a day off in the middle of week. Although he worked hard to provide for his family, Tsuneo also made the effort to spend time with them. He regularly took his son fishing and golfing, and he was particularly fond of novels about revered Japanese Samurai warriors.
The evening of March 19, 1995, Tsuneo told his wife, My hellish week is just about over, and I can finally take time off. The following day he awoke at 5:00 a.m. to make the long commute to Tokyo for his double shift at the Kasumigaseki subway station. At 8:00 a.m., Tsuneo noticed a suspicious box wrapped in newspaper and leaking a strange substance on one of the subway cars. He ordered the train to wait while he removed the box and wiped up the floor of the car with his glove. Tsuneo then placed his glove to his nose to determine what it was. Confused and unable to pinpoint the type of substance, Tsuneo called a superior to report an open gasoline container.
Moments after sniffing the liquid on his glove, Tsuneo began to feel sick, followed by the deputy stationmaster. Tsuneo called his superiors again, telling them that he was unable to finish his shift and needed assistance with the mysterious box. By the time a station manager arrived, Tsuneo and his deputy were lying unconscious on the floor of their office. The new station manager said that both men were pale and had bubbles oozing from their mouths. Both men died before medical technicians could bring them to an emergency room. It was later discovered the box contained sarin gas and was planted by the domestic terrorist organization Aum Shinrikyo. Ten other individuals would later die from the attack.
The museum was incredible powerful. The images and interactive exhibits really leave you thinking. If you are walking down through the art district, make sure to stop in.The museums main message is that Terrorism has no boundaries — no geographic boundaries, no religious boundaries, it can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone. So being proactive and aware helps and this museum does just that.