Paper Crane Project Lands at LPL

Liverpool Public Library is inviting the public to visit at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 6 and take part in creating 1000 origami cranes. The cranes will be sent to the Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima, Japan and be displayed there as a gesture of peace and goodwill.

The effort is being championed by retired Liverpool art teacher Diane Lansing. Lansing sent 1000 cranes to Japan in 2010 with the help of her students, and this year she hopes to repeat the accomplishment with assistance from area residents.

"It's considered a gesture of peace and a lot of people, I think, enjoy it once they've tried it," said the library's community relations representative Diane Towlson.

Lansing and some of her former students will be on hand to show those attending how to make the cranes. The presentation is expected to last two hours. It includes a half-hour video on why the practice of sending origami cranes to the monument was started.

The paper crane became a symbol of peace after Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year-old leukemia patient, folded 1,000 of them in hopes of beating her disease. Sadako's illness was caused by the atomic-bomb blast in her city of Hiroshima that had occurred ten years earlier.

"They (Japanese) believe that the crane lives for 1000 years and anybody who folds 1000 paper cranes can have their wish granted," Lansing said. "This really took Sadako's interest and imagination."

Sadako lost her battle with cancer, but her classmates started a movement in Japan that led to the creation of the Children's Peace Monument that stands in Hiroshima. About ten million paper cranes are now sent to the monument each year from people around the world, according to the city's website.

Lansing says she wants the project to be a gift from the local community to the city of Hiroshima.

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