The story of 1,000 cranes

Origami crane. Photo by Rachel Horesovsky.Origami crane. Photo by Rachel Horesovsky.

Also see this related story: Japanese Ambassador accepts gift of 1,000 cranes

Takoma Park  Girl Scouts folded 1,000 cranes for the people of Japan as an expression of solidarity following the recent tsunami.

After World War II, the folded origami cranes came to symbolize a hope for peace through Sadako Sasaki and her unforgettable story of perseverance.

Diagnosed with leukemia after her exposure to radiation in the bombing of Hiroshima, Sadako attempted to fold 1,000 cranes in hopes of recovering good health and happiness.

She completed 644 before she died, and her classmates folded the remaining 356 to honor her.  A statue was raised in the Hiroshima Peace Park to commemorate her strong spirit.

After the events of September 11, as a gesture of support, Girl Scouts in Japan folded cranes and sent them to their American counterparts.  Cranes were also folded and linked together in chains and sent to U. S. fire and police stations, museums and churches.

You can read Sadako’s story in the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.

Statue of Sadako Sasaki

Statue of Sadako Sasaki in Hiroshima Peace Park.

About the Author

Sandy Moore, the Kids' Voice columnist, writes for young readers and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Sandy is also a past contributor to Washington Parent magazine, a Board member of Lumina Studio Theatre, and resident of Silver Spring.

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