Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Peace on Earth

One of my patients made several origami crane mobiles and gave them to the staff (instead of chocolates) when she was discharged recently. An old Japanese legend states that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish such as long life or recovery from illness.

A young Japanese girl named Sadako became ill with leukemia as a result of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. She started making origami cranes to pass the time in hospital with a goal of making 1000, but she died with only 644 completed. Sadako's classmates made the remaining cranes, and all 1000 were buried with her. (Sadako was a real person, but there are several versions of this story). The following quote is from Wikipedia.
"In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. At the foot of the statue is a plaque that reads:   
"This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth." 
There is also a statue of her in the Seattle Peace Park." 

Because of Sadako, folded cranes have also become a symbol of world peace. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr is written for elementary aged children. I smiled at some of the one star reviews on Here is one by a young student entitled "The best book that I've ever read".

 "I would not recommend this book. It is an amazingly sad book. I would never read this book again. It's so sad because there is a lot of dying. But I will tell you about this book..."

The absence of peace makes us all amazingly sad. Christmas brings hope that peace on earth will be a reality for all mankind.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour

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