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Cranes For Peace*

In Memoriam, April 16,2007
Virginia Tech

33,000
paper cranes
swaying in the breeze

prayers on wings
crying one wish
“Peace to the World”

for 33 victims
a thousand each
one wish

the crane
symbol of life
peace and hope

origami cranes
embracing every fold
taught to Japanese children
according to tradition

- January 9,2008

*This poem was inspired by the article “Peace of Paper” written by Diana Marcum and photos by Craig Kohlrus in Fresno, Calif., first appearing in McClutchy Newpapers and then reprinted in the Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky on January 7,2008. At the Fresno City College’s annual Asian Fest, Ray Thomas taught people how to fold cranes, vowing to send 33,000 paper cranes to Virginia Tech in memory of the massacre that took place there in April of 2007. The cranes are now an art exhibit at the college in honor of the 33 professors and students who were killed.

A crane is said to live a thousand years and is regarded as a symbol of life as well as a symbol of peace and hope. In Japanese tradition a person who folds 1000 origami cranes is granted a wish.
The words “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.” is the inscription found at the bottom of a statue of a girl holding a golden crane. Sadako Sasaki was two years old when Hiroshima was bombed. She died at the age of 12 from “the bomb disease”. When she was 11 she began folding paper cranes, many more beyond the 1,000. Her friends kept folding them and erected the memorial in honor of Sadako with their wish inscribed at the bottom.

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Comments (2)

A beautifully expressed emotional poem. An absolute wonderful touching piece of write.
Oh Ben. You have captured the essence and purity of the paper crane in this sensitively written poem. This one makes the tears flow... Love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥