../Morning Post
Posted April 13, 2011

____________________
Commemoration

A commemoration of a thousand cranes

WOODSTOCK – In the wake of Japan’s Tohoku tragic earthquake and tsunami March 11, the Woodstock and District Chamber of Commerce is extending an invitation for all to join together in Museum Square Thursday, April 14 at 7:00p.m. for a special commemoration.

Jeff Culp, president and founder of Oxford Media Group – a Woodstock company with strong business ties to Japan – will emcee the event.

The thousand-crane ceremony will be in recognition of the special relationship between our city and Japan for the industrial investment that country’s companies have made here and the more than 4,000 workers that live, work or both in Woodstock.

Latest reports indicate the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the devastating waves of the ensuing tsunami waves of up to 30 metres have left close to 12,000 dead, 3,000 injured and nearly 17,000 missing.

This tragic event reminds us in a profound manner of the common purpose between our first responders to emergencies and acknowledges members of the fire department, police and ambulance personnel gathered with the general public for the April 14 event.

Those attending the ceremony will be asked to light a candle and present a crane as an expression of our care and compassion for those suffering the catastrophic affects of this disaster.

A Thousand Cranes is the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young victim of the Hiroshima atomic bomb disaster. She was two-years-old when the bomb fell and at the time seemed to be unharmed. But at the age of 12, she was diagnosed with radiation sickness – an aftermath of the bomb’s effects.

An optimist in the true sense of the word, young Sadako took the ancient story of the Thousand Cranes to heart – if a sick person folds a thousand paper origami cranes the Gods will grant her wish and make her well again So she begins the task but dies before it is completed.

The story says she is visited by her grandmother who carries her on the back of a glorious crane to the land of a thousand, thousand sprits. There she joins her ancestors and learns her true wish may be granted.

Her friends and classmates finish her work, folding enough cranes to make a thousand. Today in Japan and around the world children do the same, laying them at the feet of Sadako’s statue in the Hiroshima Peace Park. Their wish is engraved at the bottom of the monument:

This is our cry,

This is our prayer

Peace in the world.

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