|7/31/2015 9:42:00 AM|
1,000 Iowa County paper cranes on
their way to Los Alamos, New Mexico
Children and adults throughout Iowa County have been busy the last few months folding 1,000 origami paper cranes, which are now on their way to Los Alamos, New Mexico.
The crane folding is part of a national effort to send 70,000 cranes for peace to Los Alamos for the upcoming National Campaign on Nonviolence Conference, sponsored by the Pace e Bene Organization. The conference marks 70 years since atomic bombs were dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombs were developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
"We didn't know if we could do it," said Jane Kavaloski, of the Iowa County Citizens for Peace and Justice, whose group had pledged to send the 1,000 cranes from Iowa County.
Fortunately, they found plenty of help. Approximately 200 children and adults met in local libraries, churches and cafes for the colorful crane-folding events.
Kavaloski explained that the current symbolism of the paper crane began with Sadako Sasaki, who was two years old when the blast from the Hiroshima bomb threw her out a window. She was ten when purple spots formed on her arms and legs. Hospitalized for leukemia in Feb 1955, she died a few months later.
In her last year of life, Sadako and her friends folded almost a thousand paper cranes as a prayer for healing. The paper crane is now an international symbol of peace, and a poignant reminder of the human costs of nuclear bombs.
According to Kavaloski, the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings comes at a critical time for world peace.
"More and more Americans are beginning to connect the dots between war, poverty, the climate change crisis and the billions of dollars being spent on nuclear weapons as threats to our country and our world," she said.
She and her husband, Vincent, long-time advocates of nuclear disarmament, have seen a recent resurgence of opposition to nuclear weapons around the world.
They invite other concerned families to attend the intergenerational "Lanterns for Peace" event on Sunday, August 2 from 6:30 p.m. to dusk at the Twin Valley Lake Pavilion in Governor Dodge State Park.
Lantern-making, music, stories and presentations begin at 6:30 p.m. At dusk, the 100 hand-decorated lanterns, lit by interior candles, will trail behind a silent canoe as it glides through the dark waters of the lake.
Professional singer, composer and guitarist Rich Baumann will lead the singing. Please bring finger-food to share.
A day pass or park sticker is required. To learn more about the Iowa County Citizens for Peace and Justice and the Lanterns for Peace event, contact Jane Kavaloski at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin webpage at grassroots-wi.org.
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