Kyodo News
Back to Main
A-bomb victim's paper crane donated to WWII air base in Utah

A paper crane folded by Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese victim
of the Hiroshima atomic bombing who died of leukemia a decade after
the attack, was donated Saturday to a former training site for World
War II bomb crews.

Yuji Sasaki, 47, Sadako's nephew, donated her origami crane to
Utah's Historic Wendover Airfield Museum ahead of the 72nd
anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945.

Sadako became an icon for peace after folding more than a
thousand origami paper cranes while being treated for leukemia 10
years after the bombing. She died at the age of 12 in 1955.

The donation was made in a ceremony inside the hangar that once
housed the B-29 Enola Gay aircraft, which dropped the atomic bomb on
the western Japan city.

"The peace that Sadako wished for is instilled in this paper
crane that Sadako folded," Yuji said.

"I hope my presentations will continue to promote peace between
Japan and the United States."

Sadako's family has sent her cranes around the world from Europe
to South America to promote peace.

The Historic Wendover Airfield Museum is the sixth location in
the United States to receive a crane from the Sasaki family, joining
sites including Pearl Harbor and the Harry S. Truman Library in

"For the first time, two sides -- one representing those that
dropped the atomic bomb and the other, victim -- come together in the
United States of America not with enmity in their hearts, but
thoughts of reconciliation," Edwin Hawkins, a Japan-born retired U.S.
Air Force colonel and former president of the Japan-America Society
of Hawaii, said at the ceremony.

The donation "speaks powerfully to the power of reconciliation,"
he said.

A plaque in her exhibit reads: "This exhibit is presented
neither as an apology nor condemnation of actions by either country
during World War II, but rather a hope for nations to resolve
conflicts without having to resort to wars and the inevitable

The plaque introduces Sadako as "a young victim of the Hiroshima
bombing, and yet she exhibited hope for the future in an innocent and
optimistic way." (Aug. 5)

Yuji Sasaki (L), 47, Sadako's nephew, donated her origami crane to
Utah's Historic Wendover Airfield Museum