The program will consist of music, poetry and reflections and will take place Tuesday, August 6th, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm under the beautiful oaks and eucalyptus in the Sadako Peace Garden at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center, 800 El Bosque Road, in Montecito.

The Sadako Peace Garden is named for Sadako Sasaki, a young girl from Hiroshima who died of radiation-induced leukemia as a result of the 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.” No one knows just how many Sadako folded before she passed away, but 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 will include a special ceremony as Nassrine Azimi, Co-Founder of Green Legacy Hiroshima, will plant a Ginkgo Biloba sapling, grown from one of Hiroshima’s atomic bombing survivor trees, in the Sadako Peace Garden on the grounds of La Casa de Maria.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Dodge, long-time peace activist and Board member of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. There will be poetry readings by Perie Longo, Paul Willis, Chryss Yost and David Krieger, President of the Foundation. Musicians include Bob Nyosui Sedivy playing the shakuhachi, an ancient Japanese bamboo flute, singer/songwriter Hal Maynard, and Ella Bernstein, a five-year old member of The Young Singers Club. Following the program, there will be refreshments and a paper crane folding workshop. The event is free and open to the public.


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