Sadako and the Thousand Cranes
NE Pacific Street and NE 40th Street
Gift to the City. Commissioned and paid for by a grant from Fratelli's Ice Cream.
A life size statue of Sadako Sasaki forms the centerpiece of the University District's Peace Park. Sadako was two years old and living in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. Ten years later she was diagnosed with radiation-related leukemia and admitted to the hospital during the first months of 1955. She whiled away the hours determined to create one thousand paper cranes, an act which, according to local folklore, would grant her one wish. Sadako died only eight months later but her story has served as an inspiration for harmony and concord ever since.
Peace Park is an apt location for the sculptural tribute to Sadako. Surrounded by grass, rocks and other elements, the bronze sculpture of the girl holds a large folded crane up to the sky with one hand, a small smile on her face. The park was the dream of Dr. Floyd Schmoe. He won the Hiroshima Peace Prize in 1998 and used the award money to clear a small lot near the University of Washington. Wrecked cars, garbage, and brush were removed to create a natural monument that serves as a memorial to victims of war and as a lasting tribute to peace.