Monday, July 21, 2008
Fold Cranes for Japanese American Internment Memorial
During the Fourth of July weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Enduring Communities conference in Denver organized by the Japanese American National Museum. There I met Mary Reed, a Minnesota woman who is helping her daughter Michelle (right) and Michelle's friend Carly (left) in folding cranes for a Japanese American Internment Memorial.

Here's some information from their flyer:

Our names are Michelle Reed and Carly Gutzmann and we are fourteen years old.

There is a quote by Yehuda Bauer that is inscribed at the National Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C. that reads:

Thou shalt not be a victim.
Thou shalt not be perpetrator.
Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

We have never been victims and we have certainly never been perpetrators. Now is our chance to no longer be bystanders.

In 2006/2007, we worked together on a project for National History Day. We chose to make a documentary about the art school at Topaz Relocation Center. After eight months of researching Japanese American internment camps, we came to love the quiet strength and serenity of these people. We were sad to discover that most of our classmates and many adults had no idea about the internment camps in America during World War II!

We've chosen to make a memorial to the Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II. This project will take many months to complete, but our hope is that it will create an awareness of how we must create peace and tolerance in our world. This will only happen if, as individuals, we take the time to understand people who are different from us.

Our goal is to have one origami paper crane for each of the 120,313 Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II.

You can help us by making one or more paper cranes. Please make three-inch or smaller cranes. Also, send us your internment stories. You can mail them to us at:

Paper Cranes
c/o Silicon Graphics, Inc
2750 Blue Water Road
Eagan, MN 55121

We would like to thank Silicon Graphics for graciously allowing us to use their resources to receive the parcels and letters containing the paper cranes.

For additional information about the Peace Memorial, e-mail:

Labels: ,

posted by Naomi Hirahara @ 3:52 PM  
  • At February 21, 2011 2:58 PM, Blogger Pen and Ink said…

    Can I still make some cranes to send to you? Please let me know. I read 1001 Cranes and am interviewing Naomi Hirahara and I loved the book. I was a history nut, so I knew about the camps, but it's sad how many people don't know. Your project is amazing. I hope my kids grow up to be people like you. A bunch of kids in Tenessee did the same thing for the Holocaust survivors. They collected more than 6 million paper clips. I wish you all the best. I am ready to make a crane and send it to you.
    Hilde Garcia

Post a Comment
<< Home
About Me
Name: Naomi Hirahara
About Me:
See my complete profile
Previous Post
Powered by