Paper Cranes for Sadako

Paper Cranes for Sadako

Glebe Elementary students folded 1,000 paper cranes to get to Thursday night, following the example of a little girl in Japan more than 40 years ago.

The school unveiled its 1,000 paper cranes last Thursday, as first graders sang "Sadako’s Song," dedicated to Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year-old girl in Hiroshima, Japan, who died of leukemia in 1957.

Before she died, the girl folded 644 paper cranes, hoping to fulfill a Japanese legend: a person who folded 1,000 cranes would be granted a long life, a cure to illness.

Because her illness was linked to the atom bomb, Sasaki’s wish became linked to world peace. Every year students around the world fold cranes to send to Hiroshima, to the city’s Peace Park, where they surround a statue of Sadako Sasaki.

Following the unveiling of the cranes, the school held a multicultural night. Students carried passports, and visited tables representing other countries scattered around the gymnasium. Students and teachers demonstrated the customs of countries like Ghana, Brazil, and China, and showed how various holidays and customs are celebrated around the world.