Canadian Life Style

 Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes

I found a fifth grade graduation ceremony going on at the beach by Sidney pier. The teachers had brought logs along the beach for the kids to sit on. The fifth graders sat with their backs to the Sidney harbor and the fourth graders sat on logs across from them. It took me a long time and a bit of inquiry before I made sense of what I was watching. A name would be called and a fourth grader would rise and go to a basket and pick out a paper crane and walk over and hand it to the fifth grader. The fifth grader would then walk to a rock and driftwood structure that someone had built on the sand and find a place to lay the paper crane. Then the fifth grader would go shake the hands of their teachers. This happened again and again until each one had a turn. Then they adjourned for refreshments on the beach with their families. I knew this had to have some kind of special meaning for these students and I found. “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” written by a Canadian American. Sadako was 2 years old when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. When she was 10 she developed Atomic Bomb leukemia. A friend visited her in the hospital and told her if she would make a thousand paper cranes she would get her wish. She began right away and on every one wrote “peace” on the wing. She wished it would spread throughout the world. She completed 644 before she died at the age of 12. The same age as these students. Turns out it was a pretty powerful ceremony I was watching. Good for those teachers. I was told that Sidney has a Japanese Sister City.

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