It has been one year since Reiko Sekiguchi suggested to Rev. Karen that the congregation at James Bay United embark on a 1000 Cranes for Peace Project. Thanks to Reiko's idea and leadership the congregation at James Bay has thoughtfully completed 1000 origami cranes imbued with each individuals' prayers for peace.
The one thousand origami cranes were popularized through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was two years old when she was exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Sasaki soon developed leukemia and, at age 12 after spending a significant amount of time in a hospital, began making origami cranes with the goal of making one thousand, inspired by the senbazuru legend. In a fictionalized version of the story as told in the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, she folded only 644 before she became too weak to fold anymore, and died on 25 of October 1955; in her honor, her classmates felt empathy and agreed to complete the rest for her which was 356 cranes to fold. In the version of the story told by her family and classmates, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum states that she did complete the 1,000 cranes and continued past that when her wish did not come true. There is a statue of Sadako holding a crane in Hiroshima Peace Park, and every year on Obon day, people leave cranes at the statue in memory of the departed spirits of their ancestors.