Peace Crane "This is our cry, this is our prayer; peace in the world."
Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima. By the time she was eleven she had developed leukemia. During her treatment she attempted to fold a thousand origami cranes for luck in getting healed. Folding a thousand of those is a symbol of good luck and longevity in Japanese culture. She wandered around the hospital asking for candy wrappers and any other pieces of paper people could spare for her to fold into cranes. After she died her story spread and a memorial to her was erected in a park in Hiroshima. Her likeness is at the top reaching out for a crane. At its base is the inscription, "This is our cry, this is our prayer; peace in the world."
On August 6th each year, thousands of origami cranes are placed at the base of the statue by children and adults in Japan to commemorate Peace Day during the annual Peace Festival in Japan.
In 1995 a teacher in the USA, Sharon O'Connell, posted on the web an invitation for other teachers to read the story Sadako Sasaki to their classes and then fold origami cranes like the ones Sadako folded. Eighty schools in 42 of the United States and one Canadian province sent over 10,000 paper cranes. In 2008 her story and lessons in folding the cranes was part of an exhibit in an art museum in San Antonio, Texas. In between those events others took place as origami cranes continue to spread around the world as a symbol of peace. I have been asked if I can make one of sheet metal to place on top of a peace pole. I'm working on it.