This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on earth.

…engraved at the foot of Sadako Sasaki’s statue in Hiroshima Peace Park.

Sadako, a twelve-year-old heroin who struggled with leukemia from the atomic bomb radiation 1945.

sadako1000cranesA book I just read, is based on a true story of Sadako Sasaki. Born in Hiroshima in 1943, she was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped. She grew to be an energetic girl who loved and had talent in running. In the age of 11, she was running in a competition when she first felt the agonizing pain, but a moment later she was OK. She decided not to tell anybody about this, including her family and her best friend, Chizuko. She suffered pain sometimes but she felt better and better to the end of the year. She even went to a festival and wanted to wear a kimono, but her family didn’t have much money so she didn’t really force to have one.

The next year, she couldn’t hide the pain anymore as she fell when she was running. Her parents brought her to the Red Cross Hospital where leukemia patients were hospitalized. She didn’t want to imagine she had it, her mother called it the atom bomb disease, leukemia. But to her and her parents’ surprise, she really had it. She was hospitalized there.

Her schoolmates were really sad and they often visited Sadako. One day, Chizuko visited Sadako and brought a big gold origami crane. Chizuko suggest Sadako to make 1000 cranes -Japanese people believe by making 1000 cranes can grant one’s wish- and gave the crane to her. Sadako was so happy, she committed to make 1000 cranes. Her younger brother helped her to hang the cranes on the ceiling of her room at the hospital. Her schoolmates cheered her up too, they even made a doll for Sadako, she named it Kokeshi and put it beside Chizuko’s crane on the table beside her bed.

She was energic and had so much hope at the first days but her physic kept dropping for months later. One night, all of her family gathered and her mother brought a kimono with flowers for her to wear. She felt really happy that night, but she knew she didn’t have much time left. She got weaker that she couldn’t make another crane. She stared at the cranes on the ceiling for the last time and she closed her eyes.

Her schoolmates was very sad, they continued the 1000 cranes which were buried along with Sadako later. They wanted to make a memorial for Sadako and published a book titled Kokeshi, a collection of essays in her memory, to raise funds. From the funds, they built a monument which now still standing at Hiroshima Peace Park. The Children Peace Monument shows Sadako holding the golden crane standing on a mountain. At her feet was engraved the wish…

“This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on earth.”

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