Wednesday, January 31, 2007

7,000 Cranes

During summer 2003, my extended family celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in Washington, D.C. Since New York City was much closer to D.C. than our hometown near Kansas City was, my own family took a side trip to the Big Apple. We shopped along 5th Avenue, checked out the theater marquees that lit up Broadway, and viewed the entire city skyline from atop the Empire State Building.

One afternoon we decided to visit the World Trade Center site. Thanks to a city map, we knew when it was only a few blocks away. From the moment we caught a glimpse of the surrounding buildings, I felt a palpable sense of many spirits in this place. By the time we reached the site the air seemed heavy with their presence.

The placid hole where those magnificent buildings once stood belied the horror of 9/11. But remembrances left by family members and friends of those who died there left no doubt of the trauma suffered by so many. Amidst the countless handmade memorials, one particularly stood out for me.

Tucked in beside heartfelt notes of loss, lovingly framed photographs and miniature American flags were 7,000 brightly colored origami cranes. The accompanying inscription read:

“Students from Junior High Schools in Matsue, Japan made more than 7,000 paper cranes to symbolize their sadness over the events of fall. In Japan, Sebatsuru, or 1,000 cranes, is typically a symbol of healing, but in recent times has come to also represent a wish for world peace. These cranes represent over 7,000 individual wishes for this difficult yet attainable goal.”

Peace be with you.

1 comment:

mike said...

Cheer someone up who doesn't feel well. Wearing a flannel robe with hankie, and adorable fuzzy slippers, teddy bears will be a companion in good times and bad.