This project was initiated to honor the Children's Peace Statue which is currently on display in the yard at the Santa Fe Children's Museum awaiting for the time when it is welcomed by the city of Los Alamos. The Children's Peace Statue is the first National Monument in the United States created, designed and paid for by children. The project began in 1989 with a group of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Arroyo del Oso School in Albuquerque who wanted to show how children could make a difference with regard to World Peace. The Statue was funded by a five year "Dollar-a-Name Campaign". 90,000 names of children were collected from 50 states and 63 countries. This paid for the bronze-casting and construction of the Statue and three editions of a newsletter.
The New Mexico Kids Committee held a nationwide contest for the design of the statue. The winning design, by Noe Martinez from Dallas, Texas, is a suspended globe with continents made of 3,000 plants and animals which were cast from beeswax molds created by children in over 100 countries. One can see their fingerprints and names on the back of the figures.
The Peace Statue, dedicated in 1995, was intended as a gift from the children of the United States to the City and County of Los Alamos, the birthplace of the atomic bomb. When the request for permanent placement there was brought before the Los Alamos City/County Council two different years, the idea was tabled and the statue was refused. It was appropriately honored at the Albuquerque Museum for one year. For 15 years it was on loan to the Ghost Ranch in Santa Fe and was brought to the Santa Fe Children's Museum in April 2012, until it can be brought to its desired home in Los Alamos.
The Statue was inspired by the true story of a child, Sadako Sasaki, who was two years old when Hiroshima was bombed. Ten years later, she contracted leukemia which had commonly become known by the Japanese as the "Atom Bomb Disease", a disease for which there was no known cure. While hospitalized Sadako's closest friend reminded her of an ancient Japanese legend. If she folded a thousand paper cranes, the Gods might grant her wish to live. Althought she did not reach her goal of 1000 cranes, her struggle for life and her dedication to peace inspired her classmates to construct a Peace Statue for all children who were victims of the atomic bombing of Japan. This statue, completed in 1958, stands in the Peace Park in Hiroshima with the inscription, "This is our cry. This is our prayer. To create peace in the world." Ever since, mountains of origami cranes have been sent to Hioshima for Peace Day in affirmation of this prayer.
For more than a decade, the Children's Peace Statue was covered with garlands of cranes created by children and adults in communities all over the world and were hung on the statue in the commemoration of the Annual Peace Day in Santa Fe. Ultimately, we desire this teaching about Sadako and folding of origami cranes to become integrated into the curriculum of every school until all nuclear weapons have been abolished. "Peace Day" was declared on the first anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima by the Japanese to try to insure the horrendous, enduring effects of nuclear warfare would never be repeated.
Let there be Peace on Earth.
Let it begin with me.
We commemorate the Childrens' Peace Statue, displayed in Santa Fe, by hanging cranes collected from local, national and international communities.
1050 Old Pecos Trail