Sunday, August 06, 2006

Commemorating Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

While there are many things to be said and debated about regarding Truman's decision to drop the A-bomb, very few of us would deny the horrific toll such destruction took on the Japanese, and particularly the children. Bombs might achieve military objectives, but they also destroy landscapes, wildlife, and endanger the health of generations. Today I was riveted by the children's story of Sadako Sasaki, Sadako and A Thousand Cranes. Sadako who fell ill with "atom bomb disease," (leukemia) and died at age 11 (1955). She was 2 years old when the A-bomb decimated Hiroshima.

While she was sick, Sadako's best friend told her the old Japanese legend that if she folded a thousand origami cranes, she would be well. Inspired by this story, she continued to fold these cranes, in hopes that she would recover. After she died, her school friends decided to build a monument in honor of Sadako. This statute has come to represent the hope for peace.

At the base of the statue the children inscribed: "This is our peace, this is our prayer, Peace in the world."

May this also be our mantra as we navigate these explosive times. Let the crane and Sadako remind us that the children deserve a better world.

Go here if you would like instructions on how to fold a crane, a practice that also enhances the same qualities required for peace making.