Thursday, January 3, 2013

Peace Cranes for Newtown

Japanese tradition has it that folding 1,000 origami cranes will bring happiness and good luck to the creator.  Paper cranes have also become a symbol of caring for those in need, from cancer patients to victims of sex trafficking.  A group of Ridgefield families, in cooperation with the Ridgefield Library, has set a goal of creating 1,000 cranes to be donated to the Cyrennius H. Booth Library in Newtown, as a sign of solidarity and sympathy with that grieving community.

Many people are familiar with the story of the young Japanese girl who contracted leukemia following the bombing of Hiroshima and set out to make 1,000 cranes to fulfill her wish for peace.  As told in Eleanor Coerr’s children’s book, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” she died after completing only 644 and her classmates completed the task in her honor.  Ridgefield parent Kathie McGerald had become familiar with the crane legend while living in Japan and suggested this as a way our community can convey to our neighbors in Newtown our wishes for peace and healing.  “With the school break upon us,” says Ms. McGerald, “we invite families to come to the Library and take part in this effort together.”

Drop by the Library this week to participate and to admire the collection of cranes as it grows. You can make your crane on the spot, or pick up instructions and paper and make them at home or with a group in the community.

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