The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) will host the 19th Annual Sadako Peace Day to remember the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all innocent victims of war. The event will be held August 6, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., under the beautiful oaks and eucalyptus trees in the Sadako Peace Garden at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center, 800 El Bosque Road, in Montecito.
This year’s program will include the planting of a Gingko biloba sapling, grown from one of Hiroshima’s atomic bombing survivor trees. The sapling will be brought from Hiroshima to Santa Barbara by Nassrine Azimi, Co-Founder of Green Legacy Hiroshima, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading world-wide the seeds and saplings of Hiroshima survivor trees. It is the first of its kind to be planted anywhere in the United States.
There will be music, poetry and reflections commemorating the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl from Hiroshima who died of radiation-induced leukemia as a result of the atomic bombing. Japanese legend holds that one’s wish will be granted upon folding 1000 paper cranes. Sadako set out to fold those 1,000 paper cranes. On the wings of one she wrote, “I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world.” Sadly, Sadako died without regaining her health. Students in Japan were so moved by her story they began folding paper cranes, too. Today the paper crane is an international symbol of peace. And a statue of Sadako now stands in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
The event is a time to reflect on the past in order to build a more peaceful future. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Dodge, long-time peace activist and co-chairman of Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions. He is a NAPF board member, and a frequent speaker about nuclear security.
There will also be a paper crane folding workshop by Peace Crane Project and refreshments after the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.