The thousand paper cranes made by Emerson students made it to the Children’s Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan.
Every year, on August 6, a Memorial Ceremony takes place in Japan at Hiroshima’s Peace Park, to console the victims of the atomic bombs and to pray for world peace. This Sunday, that event will hold special meaning to a group of students from Emerson Elementary School in Westerville. These children, with a little help from their friends, folded and strung 1,000 paper cranes, which were sent to and have been received at the Children’s Peace Memorial site in Hiroshima.
Last spring, pupils in Beth Dalin’s third grade class at Emerson embarked on this massive undertaking after reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a fictional retelling of the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a two-year-old girl who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing by United States, and was later diagnosed with leukemia. This powerful book has been translated into many languages and used for peace education programs in primary schools throughout the world. The children shared information about this story at Columbus’ Asian Festival in May, where their cranes were hung for all to see in the Community Square at the Franklin Park Conservatory. After the festival, the cranes were boxed up and sent to Hiroshima.
Mr. Masanobu Murakami, who works in the City of Hiroshima’s International Peace Promotion Department, recently wrote, “Dear Friends, thank you very much for sending the paper cranes with the desire for peace. We received them and offered them to the Children’s Peace Monument. To avoid a repetition of the tragedy that befell many victims who died of the Atomic bombing, we are working to build a peaceful world without nuclear weapons. This will be accomplished not only by our effort, but also by support and cooperation from all over the world. In line with this, we appreciate your action and desire for peace. I ask that you continue to keep in your heart Hiroshima’s experience and your hopes for peace. I close with best wishes for your good health and every success in your activities.”