Sadako Sasaki was two-year-old child when Hiroshima was decimated by an atomic bomb dropped Just over a mile from where she was on that fateful day in 1945. She was literally blown out of her house through a window by the sheer force of the bomb, which was probably why she survived the event. She was later diagnosed with leukemia and began making tiny origami paper cranes after hearing an old Japanese tale that wishes would be granted for those who can fold 1,000 of these paper cranes. She died three months into her paper-folding project, but her cranes have been collected and have become enduring symbols of peace. Sasaki’s relatives have recently donated one of the tiny cranes, no bigger than the size of a finger nail, to a museum in Pearl Harbor.
Sasaki’s family explained they wanted to promote continued peace between Japan and the United States, and sending one to the location that suffered the brunt of the Second World War’s first attack makes very good sense and is very meaningful to them. “We have both been wounded and have suffered painfully,” said Yuji Sasaki, the young girl’s nephew. “We don’t want the children of the future to go through the same experience,” he added. Sasaki further said that he hopes the world will grow to understand the different perspectives that are in a conflict, so we can all learn to avoid violence at all cost. Among those who welcomed the Pearl Harbor donation was Lauren Bruner, a sailor on board the USS Arizona during the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack who suffered major skin burns and lost a lot of his friends.
Two of these famous peace cranes made by Sasaki have also been donated to the Tribute WTC Visitor Center next to Ground Zero in New York City, and also to the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. A group of New York residents have shown their appreciation for the Sasaki peace crane donation and reciprocated the act by donating a monument to Fukushima, a city hard hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear crisis it caused. The monument is in the shape of a crane, resembling the traditional origami figure, made with metal and other pieces of debris from the two World Trade Center towers. The monument is now displayed prominently at Fukushima’s Kaisezan Park.
[via The Telegraph]