Freebirds and Jailbirds

Writing my column for this coming weekend, reflecting on a holiday story from my days as a jail chaplain, my memory was “folded” back to the tale of the origami peace cranes.  A beautiful, true and secular story of one little child who became a symbol of peace to the world.

“As told by Japan Times (August 1, 2018), “Sadako Sasaki, the now-famous little girl who developed acute leukemia 10 years after being exposed to radiation during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima [was] inspired by the age-old Japanese belief that anyone who makes 1,000 origami cranes will see their wish come true. Sadako spent her last days folding paper cranes on her hospital bed in the hope she would recover.” After her death in 1955, her story “sparked a children’s peace movement … that swept through Japan and transformed the origami crane into an international symbol of peace. The Children’s Peace Monument in the center of Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park … celebrated its 60th anniversary [in 2018}.”

Note:  I’m not sure I remember how to fold a crane anymore, but I recall the feeling of completing one to give away, to hang on a holiday tree, or cell bar.  btw, the photo is a Blue Heron on the Potomac River.  Not a crane, but another graceful symbol of peace.

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