"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Monday, September 12, 2011

The 9/11 - Hiroshima link

     At 9/11 Ground Zero there is a statue to Sadako Sasaki, the little girl who made paper cranes an international symbol of peace and hope:

From Hiroshima to 9/11, a girl's origami lives on
December 17, 2009|By Wayne Drash, CNN
Sadako Sasaki, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, made this red origami crane while dying of leukemia.
When Sadako Sasaki lay in her hospital bed sick with leukemia, she showed her father origami cranes from local school girls. "When you fold 1,000 paper cranes, you will get well," her dad responded.
Sadako was just 12. Hoping to get better, she began folding tiny origami cranes, using paper from get-well gifts and wrappers from medicine. She had survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Yet 10 years later, her fragile body suffered the effects of exposure to radiation.

"Please treasure the life that is given to you," Sadako said before her death on October 25, 1955. "It is my belief that my small paper crane will enable you to understand other people's feelings, as if they are your own."
Sadako's death inspired a memorial in Japan's Hiroshima Peace Park, complete with a statue of her holding a golden crane. Now, one of her last origami cranes resides in a new memorial thousands of miles away, in the country that dropped the bomb.
It was given to the Tribute WTC Visitor Center in New York by her aging brother.
"I thought if Sadako's crane is placed at Ground Zero, it will be very meaningful," says Masahiro Sasaki, in an education program produced by the tribute center and the Japan Society. "Commonly, in Japan, the crane is regarded as a symbol of peace. But for us, in the Sasaki family, it is the embodiment of Sadako's life, and it is filled with her wish and hope."
"I hope by talking about that small wish for peace, the small ripple will become bigger and bigger."
The delicate red crane, smaller than a fingernail, is on display at the center. Hanging near it are origami cranes that were placed on the fence around Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Another 10,000 cranes from families and colleagues of Japanese victims of 9/11 surround Sadako's.
"This little girl believed that the world could be made better if we all worked together," says Lee Ielpi, the co-founder of the center, whose grown son, Jonathan, was killed on September 11.
"It sends that beautiful message: Even in death, we're going to carry on that little girl's wish. ... I'm so tickled we can carry on her wish."
Meriam Lobel, the center's curator, says staffers were speechless when Masahiro Sasaki presented the gift. "He lifted it out with this little, tiny tweezer and there was this beautiful red glistening crane," Lobel says. "It was like a gem, like a little red ruby."
For Tsugio Ito, the symbolism of the crane holds special meaning.

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