Sadako and the Paper Cranes

I recently had the privilege of visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial in OKC. As part of the museum exhibit you come upon hundreds of golden cranes. The description says they started arriving in OKC after the bombing and at first people were not sure why. Then they learned of the story SADAKO.

Sadako by Kamoda cc on flickr

I bought the SADAKO book in the museum shop to learn more.  From Wikipedia on Sadako:

On August 3, 1955, Sadako’s best friend Chizuko Hamamoto came to the hospital to visit and cut a golden piece of paper into a square and folded it into a paper crane. At first Sadako didn’t understand why Chizuko was doing this but then Chizuko retold the story about the paper cranes. Inspired by the crane, she started folding them herself, spurred on by the Japanese saying that one who folded 1,000 cranes was granted a wish.

It just struck me on several chords. First the story of the paper cranes. Second the unexpected gesture from Japan and the global community to OKC in a time of sadness. Third the origin of the story from the Hiroshima bombing. I can’t quite wrap my brain around it, but it definitely hit me in the gut.

The photo above is from the Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan. Thanks to Flickr userKamodo for the CC licensed photo.