A Form of Remembering

 

2014 Memorial wall

An unfortunate event happened that took Isla Vista and UCSB by surprised. On the 23rd of May 2014, a person went around and shot people and struck people with his car. But to do what he did he also, unfortunately, stabbed his roommates and a friend that was visiting. He stabbed his roommates in order to go through with the crime. The victims consisted of his roommates and their friend and 3 other people passed away. The names of the 6 victims are Katherine Cooper, Christopher Martinez, Veronika Weiss, Weihan Wang, Cheng Hong and George Chen. There were many more victims that were shot or struck by the car, those victims survived the attack. Elliot Rodger was the name of the person who unfortunately ended to the lives these 6-great people.

 

That’s a bit of the background story to the creation of the memorial wall. This wall was dedicated for the students who passed away in that tragedy. When tragedy’s happen things like the memorial wall or other vigils come out of it. Some of the vigils are spontaneous and others are planned. In the case of the Memorial Wall the students were given the tools to write on the wall.

What is a memorial wall?

The memorial can have different purposes. I would say that the memorial wall is put in place in order to remember something. Not only remember an event or a person but, show that what happened is important and we as a community should remember the event. In my case, I believe memorial walls are also put into place to horror those who the wall is dedicated to. For this, the memorial wall is used in order to remember what happened on the 23rd of May. The wall also helps the community mourn the loss of those who passed away that day. According to Public Memorials in American life talks about how memorials conserve history and how we as a community connect with the event. A know memorial wall is

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. This wall was dedicated to those who fought and died in the Vietnam War. This memorial wall will always have great significance to those who loved one was part of the war. The families still go today to remember their loved ones.

Both the Memorial on campus and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall are similar in some ways and different in other ways. The Memorial Walls are similar in a sense they are a part of memory. To be more specific both walls are part of collective memory. They both help preserve history in a tangible way. One of the differences of the wall would be that the Vietnam Veteran Memorial wall is dedicated to the fallen soldiers who fought in the war. While the Memorial wall on campus is dedicated to those who passed away meanwhile they were getting an education.

 

Like this Memorial Wall, the Memorial Wall on campus is also very significant. The Memorial Wall was first located by the library. That’s where people who wanted to write on the Wall got the chance to write on it. The purpose for the wall at the time was for people to grieve and mourn what had just happened. The Memorial Wall is a practice that helps the community grieve. The memorial wall like other vigils is a necessary practice to help people mourn effectively. The practice of making and dedicating the memorial wall also gives a sense honoring those who the wall is dedicated to. The practice also lets people remember the past without letting it dictating the future. It gives people a voice and a way to expresses themselves in a safe way. This action brought the community closer together. It would have better of the tragedy did not happen but it did.

After the wall was moved by south hall on campus it still has a purpose. The purpose for the wall now is different from the one before. The practice of the Memorial Wall was to help people grieve in an effective way and remember those who lives were lost. The practice of the Memorial Wall is still there. Now the practice of having the Memorial Wall is to remember the past. People like myself that were not here when the tragedy happen don’t have an emotional connection. But the other people do have a connection to the wall. The practice of having the memorial wall up today is to honor those who lost their lives that day. But also to remember that as a community, it is a part of history. As a community we have to make sure that we use the practice as a tool for a better future. Not one more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Time of Kevin P. Moran

 

Related imageIn present day Isla Vista we see a carefree students going about their day, in a community quite like no other. Today we see a working community that is attached to the neighboring university. The University of California Santa Barbara holds special ties with Isla Vista with a simple road like Pardall to connect them both. It is a community the students hold dear because its reputation of being “lit”, people getting food, as well as students going to and from UCSB. Unfortunately it was not the same back in the day. Times were not as peaceful as we see today. The history of Isla Vista and the actions of a noble students Kevin P Moran, are slowly being forgotten. A plaque kevin moran plaquestands by Embarcadero Hall today to remind us of the student activism that took place during the 1970’s. This plaque stands as an Isla Vista landmark so we  may know something important happened here. It is a reminder of different era were a war was taking place in Vietnam. The idea of being drafted into a war students did not support seemed unjust and inhumane. This simple plaque externalizes so much history and the fighting that went on for civil rest.

Students Taking Action

Image result for Isla Vista bank of americaIn the 1970s Students gather and organize after a empowering speech at Harder Stadium led by political activist and radical attorney William Kunstler. With roughly 3,000 people in attendance, the speech sparked students to take the streets of Isla Vista and march for their voices to be heard. Students were trying to make a change, in the success of the gathering many oppressed students, things quickly got violent as police officers showed up on the scene following the protest. Police target out Rich Underwood, with a open wine bottle in hand, police assume he is carrying a Molotov cocktail, law enforcement engage Rich beating him for refusing arrest. Students now fully enraged respond back with violence sparking a riot in Isla Vista. Police force had no choice but to leave Isla Vista as the town united to take back its streets. The students had taken a victory, they were so committed in the movement for and justice that extreme levels were reached and the symbolic burning of Bank of America occurred. The plaque stands for social change and that is what students went for.

Why the plaque was dedicated to Kevin P Moran

During the heat of the riots that followed the incident of the burning of the bank, civil unrest continued as the national guard was ordered in to step into IV calling an unspoken truth. It was on April 13th of 1970 students rallied and organized to protest for Bill Allen a UCSB Anthropology instructor and anti-war protestor who was denied tenure. With 7,776 students signing a petition to have Bill Allen reinstated, he was still denied. Students again were upset that there voices were being ignored, not only from their government but now from the UC as well. This event cause many students to take up against tyranny, they quickly united and assembled again to protest. IV was in constant struggle for freedom from authority. Again students target the reconstructed makeshift Bank of America for their source of frustration, as it was one of the corporate buildings supporting the war . The plaque marks the day  of the tragic death of Kevin P Moran who was shot and killed by Police man while trying to put out the fire.  The court ruled the Moran had been killed by an “accidental” discharge from officer David Gosselin who was later sent free. The peaceful and noble actions of Kevin P Moran were conglomerated with the dedication of the plaque. Despite being in the midst of chaos, Kevin has thought the community to fight fairly, we must not subdue to the level of our oppressors, as we continue to fight for social change in a peaceful way. The plaque stands  forever by Embarcadero Hall for students to remember  what happened, and the actions taken place by brave students.

Memorial Wall

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Memorial Wall in current location , behind the caps building. 2017

If you walk past south hall as if you were heading toward the Rec Cen and you look toward the left, as you are making your way past the caps building you will notice a big black/blueish colorful board that is about 10 by 10 feet. When you take a closer look your eyes will immediately take you the blue most part of the board which is a bright blue wave with the names of the victims. The second thing you will notice are the bold yellow letters write above the blue waves that state in all caps: WE REMEMBER THEM. Lastly as you take a closer look you will notice the detail where you will find messages written by students to the victims. If you were to find yourself at this site looking at this object you may ask yourself; what happened here? Or why is this here? And the only answer would probably be to investigate the significance of this piece/site.

 

 

Four years ago there was huge incident where a young man in Isla Vista, who seemed to struggle socially, decided to go on a rampage killing 6 people and injuring more. Cops would later find him dead after he’d shot himself in the head. According to Scott Jaschik, who wrote an article regarding the incident, the killer had planned to target to kill women as form of revenge for the way women would reject him(1). The Isla Vista community was devastated and would immediately seek action to commemorate the lives of the six wonderful people who lost their lives. There were various projects that were planned to commemorate the victims of the tragedy and a memorial wall was one of them.

 

UCSB MEMORIAL WALL

Memorial Wall in original location, as you can see behind the library was under construction

Initially the wall itself had an original function before it was used as a commemorative piece. The wall once served as a wooden board where students would leave random messages, very similar to a graffiti wall. This original piece was located in front of, what is now the newest part of the library which at the time was under construction. The tragedy also happen during this time which is when action would be taken to make the wooden piece a memorial wall. According to Melissa Barthelemy, six year graduate of Public History and one of the first persons who took action to help the graduate and undergraduate students with this tragedy, stated “Some UCSB students told me that they wanted a space in the Arbor that could focus on art and healing and that they thought it was important to have a memorial space on the actual campus. With the support of the Office of Student Life and Associate Dean Katya Armistead we created the Memorial Wall at The Arbor which is a painted wooden structure that is covered in dozens of messages of compassion and solidarity.” Although the wall would be asked to be removed after construction was done, students proposed the piece stay on campus since there wasn’t any piece that served as memory for the victims.

According to Dee Britton ,who wrote an article defining collective memory, Collective memory is anything that brings together a community such as an object, food, traditions etc. .(1) This is important to understand because in a way the memorial wall is a collective memory. Although it may be a different type of memory that brings the ucsb and Isla Vista community together its purpose remains the same. Britton went to add the work of Emile Durkheim, who studied traditional societies, and mentioned something very interesting, he stated “Across the country, individuals left spontaneous groups and needed a totemic object to maintain the sense of solidarity and unity.” I believe the wall can be interpreted in many ways, it can be seen as an object to those who were there at the moment or can also be seen as a site. It can be a place of reference to show the importance of something. Either way the point Durkheim makes can definitely apply to this situation.

We may ask ourselves, why we are being asked to remember this site or why is this wall still on campus. I strongly believe that the wall was maintained on the campus for incoming students or anyone to know that at some point there was a big tragedy that has shaped this campus in one way or another.  I’m sure there has been a lot of change, since the incident, not only with the unity of community but with the law. In addition, it is wonderful to see the yearly commemorations for the victims, which may mean less to us now, who were not present, but are highly important to those who were impacted.  I also believe having a place on campus where students who were here at the time of the incident can come and remember and still feel attached to what happened is important. Although they may wish it never happened, for them to be able come back and see a commemoration can be meaningful. Lastly, and most importantly, to commemorate those innocent victims who lost their lives? We must not necessarily know who they are but what we can do is commemorate them for being victims of an awful tragedy and give our respects and honors.

 

UCSB’s Paddle Out Tradition: Once a Gaucho, Always a Gaucho.

On May 23, 2014, UCSB lost six of their very own to “mass murder” taken place in Isla Vista. Everyone in the community were left devastated and in fear. Many different forms of memorials and candle vigils were held to help the community heal from this tragedy. The UCSB Surf Team came together to unite the community and organized a “paddle-out” for the UCSB students who had their lives taken away by the gunman. Paddle-outs are typically held to commemorate a surfer who has recently passed. However, Isla Vista being a very large surf community since the campus is minutes away from the beach, the paddle out was an appropriate way to get the community together. The paddle out became a beautiful way for the locals to remember our fallen angels. At a paddle out, people gather to the beach, many swimming out with their surfboards, kayaks, and paddle boards into the ocean. A “ring” is formed in the water and flowers are released into the ocean along with memories of the victims and any feelings or grief to be let out and expressed. Many students were able to “free” themselves from the pain and sadness. The paddle out is hosted every year by the UCSB Surf Team to commemorate the victims of the shooting. The paddle out has helped many through their pain and grief.

UCSB’s Annual Paddle-Outs Over the Years

First Paddle Out

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A few days after the shooting, UCSB’s Surf Team unites 1,000 people on the water and 3,000 on shore to memorialize the students who have lost their lives. Flowers were thrown into the ocean and prayers were made as students, mainly upcoming graduates and friend/family of victims, held each other hand in hand in a massive ring/circle. The community came together as one to show support and grieve. 

Second Annual Paddle Out

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second annual paddle out Thousands of students attend the second annual memorial paddle-out. Many still grieving over the lost of their friends and fellow classmates

Third Annual Paddle Out

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With a much smaller turnout in the 3rd annual paddle out, fellow UCSB student, Stephanie Schechter, explains why she wasn’t disappointed with the numbers, instead that “it’s important to honor the lives of the six victims because they need a voice, their voice has been stopped. For their parents and friends it’s important to see that we still remember them.” (KEYT.) Photo Credit: Kari Dixon

Fourth Annual Paddle Out

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Paddle out 2017 The UCSB Surf Team and a few other students came together for another year to commemorate the six victims. Photo Credit: Vicky Nguyen from KEYT

A Change in Meaning/Purpose

The practice of the paddle-out was initially for those who were grieving and needed a sense of security and help through this tough time in their life. As time goes on and students graduate, the practice has become more of a memory and remembrance of our fallen angels. At the end of every ceremony, with hand in hand everyone chants, “Olé.., Olé, Olé, Ole. Gauchos, Gauchos!” The unity fight song is one that all UCSB gauchos hold close to their heart. As UCSB students, graduates and new students, we must remind ourselves that we are one community and those we’ve lost, will forever be a Gaucho.

Isla Vista Peace Pole (SSFD)

There is a worldwide organization now including our very own Isla Vista, the members of which have all planted a peace pole in their community. Our community peace pole lies just outside the Isla Vista Food Co Op is four sided and displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” on each side in English. There are tens of thousands of these poles in over 180 countries on every continent. Peace poles are dedicated as monuments to peace. Each pole has four to six sides and each side displays the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” typically in a different language. These poles serve as constant reminders to visualize and pray for world peace not to mention their widespread across all continents and many communities help promote a sense of interconnectedness.

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In all honesty, I do not know when our own Isla Vista Peace Pole was put up but regardless I think its inherent purpose is to make us reflect on the movement. A peace pole is meant to make us reflect on all the other historical landscapes and events other peace pokes have been put up in. This is to help the public realize that no matter the place or time they were erected in the hope for peace has been the same here in Isla Vista as it has been in the rest of the world.

Peace poles have a long history of being put in university environments further creating ties and revealing similarities to other communities we would otherwise never notice. Peace poles have sprouted in other communities like Hartford county put by a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Their motives for putting up the monument have been expressed as, “Peace is not a passive way of being, it is an active, mindful engagement with the blessings of life the Peace Pole is a simple, elegant reminder of the willingness for peace, offering its prayer to all who might take up the endeavor.”  The message of a peace pole relies on its interconnectedness to its origins and or other locations, any peace pole asks us to reflect on the very first one in Japan and if not this one than another of the literal thousands of historical sites which they can be found in. A peace pole asks many of us reflect on the different environments this message has been propped up in, and not just different environments but different times in history.

Peace Pole Hartford County

Need to find more research on other sites that have erected peace poles. Hopefully will show if how this site being around the world serves as collective effervesce and strengthen its meaning with interconnectedness……….

*Due to lack of research still stuck in limbo between a text based post and an image driven post.

 

Isla Vista Responds with Memorial Paddle Out

 

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Participants form a circle as they receive support from shore

(Photo by Maurita Braun)

A Community Built Response

Isla Vista focused on remorse, reflection, and healing as it recovered from the rampage that left 6 young people dead in May of 2014. A number of memorial services were held in its wake to help the community cope with the tragedy; among them a memorial paddle out coordinated by the UCSB surf team. It attracted thousands of students and faculty as it took place in the water and on the beach, just north of campus point. The service brought the entire community together to grieve in solidarity.

Isla Vista’s nature is a community that revolves around the outdoors, most often the beach, and is filled with surfers and beach users, therefore coordinating a paddle out memorial service, which is historically for surfers, was an excellent way to unite the community for a common cause. It drew almost a thousand participants as it unified the victims and attendees.

I spoke with neighbor and UCSB alumni Denton Vanduzer who was in Isla Vista at the time of the shooting. He explained that, although the paddle out is a standard form of memorial in beach communities, Isla Vista’s reared unconventional because of the size and nature of the tragedy.

Traditions were altered to suit the needs of the community in several ways. There were six moments of silence because six victims instead of the usual one, and there were thousands of people standing on the beach in solidarity whose cheers could be heard over those from the people in the water.  These changes in convention from traditional paddle outs caused the memorial to be more effective.

Denton then emphasized that although he did not personally know the victims, there was an unspoken agreement amongst his friend group that paying their respects and attending the paddle out was necessary in order for them to better cope with the tragedy. This was because of the style of the memorial; it wasn’t just a service, shrine, or exhibit, but an event where you have to physically get out there and do something in order to pay your respects, which further exemplifies its positive effects and why it suited Isla Vista.

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Surfers return from the paddle out

(Photo by Peter Vanderbelt)

How We Remember

The nature of the paddle out that brought Denton and his friends together was what facilitated a collective memory of the victims. The memorial brought the community together and allowed them to participate, as equals, in an event to reflect on the individuals harmed in the tragedy.

Dee Britton would describe the paddle out as a form of “collective effervescence” because the community is coming together to share the same thoughts and participate in the same action; It creates a visceral connection between all parties involved. This connection allowed the underlying themes of community strength, love and compassion to resonate with the participants and help them move past the tragedy and into the future. These common feelings further enhance our shared memory of the victims.

When explaining why he chose to participate in the paddle out, Carry Spurrier said “I wanted to do something with the Isla Vista community that could stand as another type of memorial for the students we lost,” in an interview with Lexi Weyrick in the Bottom Line. 

The nature of Isla Vista caused the paddle out to be effective, and the effective paddle out facilitated a positive collective memory of the victims. The community remembered these victims through a celebration of their lives. The beauty of the paddle out and the success it reared externalized the memory of the individuals into something far greater than just being victims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do we have the North Hall Takeover Mural

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History of the Takeover

Twelve students barricaded the computer room of north hall and threatened that they will destroy all the computers if people dislodged their attempt to get their eight educational system needs granted. These students from the Black student Union and others spent numerous nights at one of the students house to plan this approach of the campuses neglect towards the black community on campus. This began to widen as students started to ask what was going on. More and more students got involved and gave support. Later on that day, chancellor cheadle had people to come clear the building and took into consideration of the blacks students requests. Seven out of the eight of the requests were granted, suching as hiring a black counselor for EOP, developing the college of black studies, etc.

What happened after?

In a video with Jeffrey Stewart, he explains the history of the takeover as well as the outcome. He states that the through this student activism, it conducted the department of black studies, but also contributed to the departments of chicano/chicana studies, asian american studies and feminist studies. As well as the departments, it brought the “insertion of information about the black experience in the course of sociology, history, literature, political science, literally throughout the whole curriculum”, says Stewart. 

In 2012, the Black student Union requested a mural to commemorate the north hall takeover from 1968 that carried a large change for the students as well as the culture of the community. Summer of 2013, the students did research and found pictures in the 1968 yearbook contained pictures from the event. Students, Staff and Faculty came together to design what they wanted on the mural. The designer was Mehmet Dogu, who was a designer of University art Department. The mural established is a public piece that everybody can access by walking through the breezeway of North hall. Each photo provides a different message of what happened during the protest.

Jeffrey stewart was handed the authority and control of the mural installation from Chancellor Yang.  He also went to countless meetings with Kashira Ayers to get approval of the design as well as the installations. In Jeff Wing’s article, he states that the overall message that is intended from the creator, Jeffrey Stewart, is “to create something so that blacks visiting students could see that they had a presence, and were making a real contribution here”

What do you see

Standing in between the breezeway walls, ten large photos from 1968 surround you.

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Within each photo on the wall, you can see different perspectives from the takeover of the north hall. All these pictures show a different standing point of the activism that was happening. But overall, they demonstrate the power of students together and the power of  voice. It also shows the large change that has impacted the school as a whole and that it was such a large effect to students and staff that they demanded for a mural.

Looking at each picture gives you an assumption what it might mean or represent, but looking at this mural you wont be able to pick up the actual history that is behind it. Being an observer allows you to make assumptions but never really a thought to do research on what it actually means. As an observer, you can easily recognized that this is from the past because of the appearance of the people in the photos and how the photos are black and white. Easily from just looking, we can all make an assumption that this mural is to present an event that occurred with the two races, blacks and whites.

 

 

The Legacy of Those That Came Before: The North Hall Installation

There are mountains near UCSB, big tall beautiful ones. They wrap all of us here in their cold shadowy embrace every morning. However there are other shadows hidden here, for those who look for them. Shadows cast through time by the people who changed this campus. They possess something the Ancient Egyptians called a sheut in abundance. The sheut is part of the human soul in Egyptian mythology, the shadow which reflects on a person’s influence in the world.

These shadows are not literal, but a reference to the legacy someone leaves behind. In the year 1968, twelve black students occupied North Hall, in a monumental display of activism for the greater good; the equality of all human beings. It led to the foundation of a very successful Department of Black Studies and the greater diversity of the campus and campus services.

The takeover of North Hall was in reaction to injustice and a ringing demonstration that the students of color on this campus weren’t to be looked down upon or taken for granted. Injustice and inequality would not be met with quiet acceptance, but active rejection and contest. A central reason for the occupation of North Hall was to lobby for the replacement of UCSB’s then athletic director, Jack “Cactus” Curtice, and his racist behaviour.

This event resulted in many changes to the diversity of campus services. Today, UCSB boasts an inclusive and diverse society. This is arguably in part, due to the actions of those twelve. Therefore, the campus itself as it is, is a part of their legacy as student activists.

How does the memorial at North Hall work as the sheut of those students? History has shown us that memorials act as focal points in debates and perception of their subject matter. A very recent example of this is the hotly debated topic of confederate monuments in the recent past, which has spawned both activism and multiple stances on the legal, political and ideological issue. Similarly, the monument to the efforts of those students acts as a focal point, and empowers people of color who continue to face injustice and prejudice in the current day. Some students talk about how the gallery is empowering in this video.

The installation not only documents  the actions, and the consequences of the actions of the students who took part in the occupation, and others besides, but also honors their memories by being a focal point for race-equality related thought and action on the campus today. The shadows they cast are no longer theirs alone. Everyone who contributes toward their mission, or takes on that mission as their own contributes to this collective legacy, and does them great honor in doing so.

Paper Cranes: Past, Present, Worldwide

History of Paper Cranes

Cranes have stood for or have been a symbolic sign of peace ever since the famous story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was affected from the Hiroshima bombing in the 1950’s. Years after the atomic bomb was dropped, Sasaki started to develop swellings and bruises all around the sides of her neck and around the back of her ears. Later to find out she was diagnosed with lymph gland leukemia. When she was hospitalized, she met a girl from her school who told her a story a about a Japanese folktale which promised one wish if that person were to fold one thousand paper cranes. So Sasaki set out to do it, having made about six hundred and forty four of them until she fell short in the process as she passed at the age of twelve years old.

How did this story inspire the Nikkei Student Union to create the piece in the SRB? What happened to UCSB/ the community to cause them to construct it? 

On May 23rd of 2014, a man named Elliot Rodger went on a violent massacre, killing six of our very own UCSB students while leaving fourteen terribly injured. Spontaneous memorial sites, ocean paddle outs, big stadium commemorations and a lot more were done to honor the lives of those who passed in that horrific moment in time. Even still, three years later, there are many dedicated spots on and off campus just for these innocent lives and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Today, hanging from the third floor bridge of the Student Resource Building, holds a multicolored one thousand paper crane piece that Sadako Sasaki sadly couldn’t finish.  It consists of strands of brightly colored paper cranes along with six blue sequences in remembrance of each passing from the tragedy.

The instillation carries a lot of light which renders it as a peace/ solidarity or uniting memorial structure. Like the American Flag bringing people together at national sports events or historical figure funerals, the paper crane structure unifies all of UCSB and the community by spreading love and peace; allowing all of us to move past the losses and remember those students for who they were and not by how they were lost. In the Bottom Line News article, “Nikkei Student Union Fold Cranes in Remembrance,” Yao Yang says, “Through this event, she aims to show that the UCSB community is unified and there for each other in a time like this.” Yoshihara, the woman who organized the event, envisioned a piece that would deliver that sense of community. Nothing but a sense of oneness for Isla Vista and UCSB was the aim for this project and it did just that.

How have cranes acted as a sign of peace worldwide? 

With pride, Masahiro Sasaki (brother of Sadako Sasaki) has honored his sister through his foundation called the NPO Sadako Legacy. Through this organization, he carries on the beautiful essence his sister withheld by donating the paper cranes Sadako finished to places of relieving or places that were in need of alleviation. In “How Paper Cranes Became a Symbol of Healing in Japan,” Ari Beser describes the foundation’s goals: “In addition to the September 11 memorial, Sadako Legacy has donated a crane to Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona Memorial with the help of Daniel, The Peace Library at the Austrian Study Center for Peace, and the city of Okinawa.” Masahiro delivers paper cranes to places that were linked to tragic moments from the past as a peace relieving gift. It’s his foundation’s purpose to try to move passed painful memories and to strive for hope across all nations of the world. Sasaki sought the importance of establishing oneness and the cranes were the start of creating that effect. Hiroshima itself was inspired by Sadako’s tale of the one thousand cranes that they built a structure in it’s national park to spread the same message her brother was spreading. In the article, “The Girl Who Transformed The Paper Crane Into The Symbol for Peace and Hope,” Michael Rose says, “In 1958, the statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was erected in Hiroshima’s Peace Park. A plaque on the statue reads: “This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world.”” After the bombing, the country needed a place for solidarity and harmony to try to gain hope; to move together as one and try to move their minds beyond that horrific memory.

It’s not just the NPO Sadako Legacy or Hiroshima itself who are striving for peace on earth by using cranes as it’s mark, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology host paper crane projects in honor of International Peace Day. According to their Penn Museum website, “Joining Peace Day Philly in honor of the United Nations 2016 International Day of Peace (officially September 21), the Penn Museum invites guests of all ages to create origami paper cranes—a symbol of peace—at an afternoon craft table.” The museum could have used any other form or “symbol of peace” for their usage, but instead utilized the crane because they understood the effect the cranes hold. The Penn Museum referred it with no question and didn’t even provide a background story, so the guests could understand the meaning of the paper cranes to the UN holiday because they believed the meaning was already there and didn’t have to be unfolded. The strengthening of harmony with the powerful message these cranes possess were also seen in other states of the US. In the “Santa Maria Times,” the author writes, “It is that peace which was made tangible to us in the form 1,000 cranes sent to us from Chardon, Ohio, a community touched by violence, that in turn had received 1,000 cranes from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. They sent along along a thousand cranes of peace to old South Church in Boston after the marathon bombing April 15, 2013.” These cranes offer a gentle light. They serve as a gift to try to forget all the despair that once took place in Ohio or in Boston or where ever and try to spread love for the new generation, and the next so chaos never erupts.

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