Author: Short Story
I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world
- Sadako Sasaki
Sadako was two when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the black rain fell upon Hiroshima. All was well in her childhood, she grew up happy, healthy and had dreams of a future teaching physical education.
At age 11, she caught a small cold. The cold turned into swelling lumps on her neck and ears and later, spots on her legs. Shortly afterwards, she was diagnosed with "the atom bomb disease". She was one of the many diagnosed with Leukemia in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing and entered the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital with at most, a year to live.
While she was in hospital, an older hospital roommate told her about the ancient Japanese legend. The legend says that if you fold one thousand paper cranes, you will be granted a wish. Sadako began folding cranes during her time at the hospital. Even as her condition worsened, she continued to fold cranes with whatever materials she could find, from medicine wrappings to gift-paper from other patients' get-well gifts.
She folded and folded and her family members say that even after she reached 1000 and her wish for health wasn't granted, she continued to fold cranes until her death on the 25th October 1955.
Paper cranes, traditionally a Japanese symbol for happiness and prosperity are now an international symbol for peace and hope following Sadako's legacy.
Each year, children and adults from around the world travel to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and visit the statue of Sadako. They hang their own cranes in the memory of all the children affected by the Hiroshima bombings and add their own wish of peace to this Children's Peace Monument.
In a different way, her cranes have taken flight, lighting the way for the growing movement of peace on earth.
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