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Paper Cranes Represent Prayers for Peace
9/8/2011
As the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 draws near, Americans are being confronted with somber images and painful reminders of the terrorist attacks. As a positive, visual memorial to the Sept. 11 victims, their families, the first responders and the many men and women who have fought for our nation, the University of St. Thomas Counseling and Disability Services held the Paper Cranes for Peace service project in August and September.

St. Thomas faculty, staff and students and parents collaborated to create more than 1,200 origami paper cranes as a prayer for peace. Students in the Mendenhall Summer Institute as well as students and families who attended Freshman Orientation participated in the service project. Many of the cranes have personal prayers for peace written inside. These colorful cranes are suspended on garlands from the ceiling of the Crooker Student Center atrium.

The practice of creating 1,000 paper cranes for peace was popularized in Japan after WWII. The tradition began when Sadako Sasaki, a young woman who developed a terminal illness after the bombing of Hiroshima, attempted to fold 1,000 paper cranes before her death. Collections of thousands of cranes, known as a Senbazuru, have been traditionally placed at peace memorials.

The cranes will be on display in Crooker Center, 3909 Graustark, for the remainder of the month of September.

For more information, contact Jennifer Shannon at 713-525-2169.

Shown above: Chloe Jester and Jennifer Shannon, Counseling and Disabilities Services coordinator, fold the cranes.

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