Greenpoint Library Launches 1,000 Crane Project to Remember COVID-19 Victims

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The Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Ave.), which reopened with great anticipation last fall amid the pandemic, is using its community space to remember the lives lost to COVID-19.

A new project aims to collect 1,000 origami cranes to set up a memorial in honor of the victims of the pandemic. Inspired by the ancient japanese legend that a thousand paper cranes can bring good fortune, wishes for happiness or healing, the library aims to hang 1000 handmade cranes in the windows and lobby. Neighbors are encouraged to fold and donate their own cranes, to add to the memorial, which will continue to grow until 1,000 are hung in the library.

“We have all been affected by the pandemic in one way or another,” said Tenzin Kalsang, librarian at the Greenpoint Library. “In an effort to support the recovery of our community, Greenpoint Library invites everyone to participate in this activity to create and donate their crane to promote a sense of solidarity and resilience in these times. ”

So why 1000? A Japanese tradition believes that if one folded 1000 origami cranes, his wish would come true. The custom became even more popular and known around the world when a young girl injured in the bombing of Hiroshima, Sadako Sasaki, wanted to fold 1,000 paper cranes from her hospital room in 1955. “Today, the paper crane has become a symbol of peace, love, hope and healing during difficult times, ”Kalsang said.

So far 600 cranes have been donated to the library, many from store-bought origami paper, but a few from recycled newspapers and magazines. Some also have messages written on the wings, with inspiring words like “heal, be strong, love, peace, understand”

Everyone in the community is welcome to participate. “Every paper crane carries a little wish and ultimately becomes a big wish,” Kalsang said. “The message of this project is to promote hope, connection and a sense of solidarity and resilience in these times. “

Instructions for folding cranes can be found via this Youtube tutorial. For further reading on the paper crane tradition, Kalsang recommends the following books:

Sadako and the thousand paper cranes by Eleanor Coer

A Thousand Paper Cranes: Sadako’s Story and Children’s Peace
Statue
by Takayuki Ishii

Yoko’s paper cranes by Rosemary Wells

The paper crane by Molly Bang

Sadako y las mil grullas de papel by Eleanor Coerr


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