Aloysia Hanks works with instructor Courtney Shinde to fold origami cranes, as part of the Honokaa Peace Committee 199,000 Cranes project that kicked off Tuesday. (COURTESY PHOTO FOR NHN)
Members of the Sasaki ohana from Hiroshima are scheduled to attend the Peace Day Parade and Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21 in Honokaa. Their ancestor, Sadako Sasaki, miraculously survived the atomic bomb explosion at age two, but died of radiation-caused cancer 10 years later.
In the last weeks of her life, Sadako Sasaki and her friends folded origami cranes, trying to complete 1,000 considered necessary to grant her one wish. Since 1955, Sasaki and her paper cranes have become symbolic of peace and anti-nuclear war movements worldwide, and her statue stands in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, surrounded by countless origami cranes.
The Peace Committee is “enfolding” the cranes into its thematic events this year in numerous ways. Observers may see church and school groups marching with colorful strands of 1,000 paper cranes, Mamane Street storefronts decorated with cranes, and children’s peace posters and parade T-shirts embellished with crane imagery.
Ultimately, the committee’s goal is to send thousands of paper cranes from Hawaii to the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima, to honor Sadako Sasaki. Groups who create at least 1,000 may participate in the parade, and cranes will be accepted at the Peace Day Festival on Sept. 21, where the Sasaki family may see the special tribute to Sadako. For more information, visit www.peaceparade.org or Peace Day Parade on Facebook.