Thursday, November 15, 2012
The paper crane is a symbol for peace. What does peace mean to you?
Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Sadako Sasaki was born on the 7th of January, 1943,in Hiroshima. She liked to go on outings with her family. They would go to the Peace Park on the 6th of August every year. They went there to remember those who died when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on that day in 1945.
Sadako was a school runner. She practiced running every day. One cold winter day on the 10th of February, 1955, she fell down while running. Her father took her to the hospital. The doctors said she had leukaemia. She was another victim of the atomic bomb. Sadako was very sad.
The net day, her best friend, Chizuko visited her. She folded a paper crane and gave it to Sadako.
“This can help you get well,” she said.
“How can a paper crane help me get well?” asked Sadako.
“According to a story, the crane is supposed to live a thousand years. Some people believe that if you fold one thousand cranes, you can make a wish,” said Chizuko.
Although it was not easy, Sadako hoped to fold the thousand cranes as quickly as she could. She wanted to go home. By June 1955, she had folded more than five hundred paper cranes. Although she grew weaker, she never lost the will to live. She kept on folding the paper cranes. She passed away on the 25th of October, 1955.
Sadako’s friends collected the letters she wrote and turned them into a book. Soon, many people around Japan read about Sadako and the thousand cranes. Many people were touched by the courage she had although she was so ill. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Park. Sadako became a symbol for the peace movement.
The story tell us that “Hope is the last thing that we lose”.