Saturday, 8 August 2015

70th Anniversary of Hiroshima

Thursday was the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, by the United States of America. On that day, we read the story from a survivor and looked at a clip of what Hiroshima looked like after the bombing.  This clip is an interview with survivors and the men in the aircraft, as well as a dramatisation of what it was like on the ground.

Following this, I read the short chapter book to the class called, 'Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes'.  A tells the story of Sadako Sasaki, an active little girl who was two when the bomb struck her home of Hiroshima.  She developed Leukemia as a 12-year-old.  Sadako's best friend tried to cheer her up by saying paper cranes bring good luck, so Sadako decided to make 1000 paper cranes, believing she would survive the 'atom bomb disease' if she did so.  The book says that tragically, Sadako died after making 644 cranes.  Her friends and family finished the other 356  cranes, which were then buried with her.    This story, however, is disputed by members of her family, including her older brother.  The say she exceeded 1000 and folded around 1300 cranes.    Members of the family have donated some of the cranes to places of importance around the world, such as at the 9-11 memorial and at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii.

After her death, Sadako's friends and schoolmates published some of her letters to raise money.  They used these funds to build a memorial to Sadako and all the children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb.  The statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

At the foot of the statue is a plaque that reads:

"This is our cry, 
This is our prayer, 
Peace on Earth"

Every year, people leave thousands of paper cranes at the base of the statue.

At this stage, the students of Room 10 decided that they too, want to make 1000 paper cranes too. A wet lunchtime yesterday set us well on our way, with our first 200 cranes nearly made. 

Our wish too, is for peace on earth.

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