Library, Nonviolent Tiffin invite people to promote peace

This "peace box" on the South Washington Street side of the Seneca County Justice Center is designed to raise awareness for peace, and is the place to put origami cranes made at the library today, Friday or Saturday. The box has "peace" written in several languages and has a crane on top.

Nonviolent Tiffin is raising awareness for Saturday’s World Day of Peace by asking people to make an origami peace crane at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library today, Friday or Saturday. The organization has a goal of folding 1,000 paper cranes by Saturday.

“We work on relationships in the community to make Tiffin a more peaceful place,” said Trish Haley, a member of the Nonviolent Tiffin Committee. “We wanted to get the community involved in making peace cranes.”

Making a crane involves folding paper into the shape of a crane and adding a message of peace.

When complete, people are encouraged to drop off their cranes in the box at the temporary peace monument at the Seneca County Justice Center downtown.

Haley said the “peace pole” monument was made by a committee member.

“It’s pretty prominent,” she said.

The story behind peace cranes comes from Japan.

Haley said author and director of the Peace Crane Project Sue DiCicco spoke at the library and the committee decided to promote her project as a peace project for this year.

The cranes project has its beginnings in Japan with a girl who became ill from the effects of radiation from a World War II nuclear bomb.

According to a blog post on the Waging Peace Today blog (wagingpeacetoday.blogspot.com) by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Sadako Sasaki was 2 years old when the world’s first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, about 2 miles away from her home.

“Although many of her neighbors were killed instantaneously, Sadako survived the explosion, seemingly unscathed,” the blog post said. “However, below the surface and over the course of the next 10 years, Sadako developed leukemia. Many other children who were exposed to radiation from the atomic bombs developed leukemia as well.”

While hospitalized, the story says Sadako began to make origami cranes.

“Ancient Japanese legend holds that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes, ‘senbazuru,’ will be granted a wish,” the blog post said.

Sadako set out to fold 1,000 cranes.

“She wrote, ‘I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world.'”

Sadako continued to create the symbolic birds until she died at age 12 on Oct. 25, 1955.

Her story has been told many times through the years.

“It’s been going a long time,” Haley said. “In Japan, the crane is a symbol of hope and healing.”

The committee decided to bring the project to Tiffin.

“We contacted the mayor’s office and he made a proclamation,” she said.

The committee also received permission to display the peace pole on Justice Center grounds.

Along with its latest project, Nonviolent Tiffin has been active for about three years.

“We bring in speakers every year,” Haley said.

In spring 2020, the committee plans to invite a speaker who focuses on how violence impacts children. Other speakers have been John Dear and Kit Evans. The committee has sponsored dramas, music, hayrides and other communities activities to raise awareness. Members also work with “marginalized individuals” such as those struggling with opioid addiction.

“We raise the awareness of everyone by being involved and feeling connected to Tiffin,” Haley said.

The group meets at 7 p.m. on the last Monday of each month at the St. Francis convent, and everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information about the organization or the project, visit www.Tiffin4Peace.org or contact Sister Paulette Schroeder, pauletteosf@hotmail.com or (567) 230-0220.