Canberra students are busy folding origami cranes to promote messages of peace and continue the legacy of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died from radiation illness after the Hiroshima bombing.
Year 5 and 6 students at St Vincent Primary School in Aranda are folding 100 paper cranes of all sizes and colours that will be strung together and hung from the peace bell in Canberra before being sent to Hiroshima.
It's all part of the commemoration ceremonies in Canberra and Japan of the World War II bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is the first year Canberra students will participate in the event held at Canberra Rotary Peace Bell in Nara Peace Park.
Paper cranes are made because, according to Japanese folklore, a crane can live for 1000 years. If a person folds an origami crane for each year of a crane's life, it is said they will have a wish granted.
Sadako Sasaki folded more than 1000 paper cranes with the wish she would get better. It was a wish that was never granted.
After the students' cranes are sent to Hiroshima, they will be hung from the Children's Memorial on the International Day of Peace in September in memory of Sadako Sasaki.
St Vincent Primary School has a strong connection to the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell, after the coordinator Michael Rabey reached out several years ago to involve the school in its creation.
In 2018, the school choir sang for the opening of the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell and in 2019 they received the first of 100 peace poles to be planted in Australian schools and communities by the rotary club.
The inscription on the peace pole "May peace prevail on Earth" is the message the rotary club wishes to promote.
"We have a really good connection with the Canberra Rotary Club and that whole message of peace. When Michael first approached us years ago about fundraising for [the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell] the kids immediately went into action," St Vincent Primary School principal Lina Vigliotta said.
The Rotaract Clubs of Brindabella and the University of Canberra have invited the community to come together this weekend to commemorate the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This annual event, which started in 2018, will feature keynote speakers, including the Japanese ambassador Shingo Ysmagami and the striking of the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell to signify a wish for the end of nuclear weaponry.
"This is us, reaching out from Canberra to Hiroshima to say we want an end to nuclear war," Mr Rabey said.
- The Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembrance Ceremony will be at Canberra Rotary Peace Bell in Nara Peace Park on August 7, at 11am.
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