Saturday, November 6, 2010
Peace Crane Event
NJAHS held its annual peace crane workshop today, November 6. This workshop involves teaching people how to fold origami cranes, which are made from small squares of folded paper. These cranes are then placed in clear Christmas ornaments adorned with other decorations. Some of these crane ornaments are then sold and the proceeds are used to fund arts and crafts events for children visiting NJAHS. The reason this is titled a "peace" workshop is rooted in the story of a young girl named Sadako.
The story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes starts in Hiroshima, which was one of two cities that was bombed by America at the end of the second World War. The atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had many devastating effects. The destruction they caused to the surrounding area was only one part of the full impact of the bombing. Many people who resided near the bombing zone developed illnesses from the radiation left behind by the bombs. These illnesses were oftentimes terminal. Sadako was one of these many victims.
Sadako grew up in Hiroshima in the aftermath of World War II. One day she collapsed while running and was taken to the hospital. Once there, she was diagnosed with leukemia and would spend the rest of her life in a nursing home combating the disease. While there, a fellow patient told her a story, that if she folded one thousand paper cranes she could be granted one wish. Sadako began to fold her thousand cranes everyday in the hopes that one day she could have her one wish, which was to live. As she got weaker she folded less and less, but continued trying. Though Sadako managed to fold only 644 paper cranes before she passed away, her friends and family completed her task. Sadako's thousand cranes were buried along with her.
Today, Sadako is remembered with a statue in Hiroshima, where people come every year to leave cranes. It is their message to the world, a message of peace, so that the events of the bombing and stories like Sadako's will never have to happen again.