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International Peace Pilgrimage

Towards a nuclear free future

Sadako's Story

Sadako Sasaki was a 2 year old girl living at Misasamachi in 1945, although Misasamachi is only 1.5 kilometers away from the hypocenter, of where the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, she was not harmed. Sadako grew up an energetic young girl, a runner for her class relay team which competed on sports days.

She fell ill ten years later during the sixth grade. In February 1955, Sadako was hospitalized in Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital with Leukemia.

Having heard the legend that folding 1,000 cranes would cure her disease, Sadako moved steadily towards that goal using the paper that her medicine came in or whatever paper she could find. Her prayer was unfulfilled. On October 25 of 1955, after an eight-month battle with the disease, and having folded 644 cranes as a prayer that she would get well, and that children everywhere would never suffer from war again, Sadako's short life came to an end.

Her classmates responded by becoming the nucleus of a group that called for support in builing a monument to peace --- a place where people could pray for the many children like Sadako who perished due to the bombing. Donations from various sources enabled the Children's Peace Monument to be completed. The statue was unvaeiled on May 5, 1958.

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A bronze statue of a young girl holding a huge golden crane stands atop the monument expressing the dream of a peaceful future. Paper cranes offered by children all over the world are presented continuosly at the foot of this monument.

During the International Peace Pilgrimage Towards A Nuclear Free Future, It is our wish to stop at communities, schools and gatherings along the way. We will tell the story of Sadako to children and thier perants, teach them how to fold Peace Cranes and disscuss what is happening throughout the world

Sadako's prayer for a peaceful world is one of the ways we feel that we can educate people, and create a Nuclear Free Future.

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*Part of this text was taken from "The Spirit Of Hiroshima" (Hiroshima peace memorial museum 1999)