Nuclear Weapons

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemoration in Long Beach

More than 1000 paper cranes memorialize Hiroshima and Nagasaki

More than 1000 paper cranes memorialize Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A number of Peace Action West supporters participated in remembering the victims of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki earlier this month. Robert Kalayjian emailed to let us know about the commemoration that took place at the First Congregational Church in Long Beach, California. I wanted to share the story of their moving event and the amazing photos of the more than 1,000 paper cranes that decorated the church to honor the victims. If you live in the Long Beach area, you can view the cranes for the next 3 Sundays. Local news coverage of the commemoration gave them another opportunity to get the message out to a broader audience about the dangers of nuclear weapons.

cranes2_long beach church

Below are some excerpts from the Press-Telegram (which also has a photo):

An ardent advocate for disarmament, Kalayjian talked about helping his 6-year-old grandson fold some of the more than 1,000 origami cranes in memory of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who developed leukemia as a result of radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II….

More than 50 people had folded the origami cranes, and 30 had helped string them, said Kalayjian, 64, of Long Beach, who said he folded more than 300 cranes.

The goal of the service was to remember the bombings and help members of the audience make a spiritual and emotional connection with the victims, including Sadako, said Kalayjian, who organized the event….

As Kalayjian and his grandson made the origami cranes, he realized Adam and Sadako are the same individuals – innocent victims, he said.

“I couldn’t imagine dropping bombs on my own grandchildren, so how could I drop bombs on any children?” Kalayjian said.

You can view some additional photos online here.