It was a community event for all ages when we gathered to celebrate International Peace Day at Union Avenue Books in Knoxville to fold 1,000 Cranes.
1,000 Cranes is an annual event in Knoxville, hosted by Union Avenue Books and sponsored by OREPA and the Smoky Mountain Chapter of CISV. People passing by stopped to fold, children by the dozens. Three college students stopped to fold one crane and ended up folding for three hours. Emily came because she saw it on the Asian Festival Instagram post and folded more than thirty cranes, earning a free T-shirt. Dave McNeeley came from Jefferson County and was about to give up on finding parking when Noah (pictured at right) said, “I want to fold the cranes!” and Dad persevered, and Noah and Christopher successfully became origami masters.
OREPA members folded, too, along with several people from the Smoky Mountain Chapter of CISV.
By 7:00pm, when the coffee shop came out to collect tables and chairs (they were wonderful to let us use several of them!), we had folded 759 cranes! International Peace Day has passed for another year, but our cranes will be working for peace for months to come as we hand them out at OREPA events and presentations and CISVers use them at the Farmer’s Market and Asian Festival—Sadako Sasaki’s message: I will write peace on your wings and you fly around the world,” will be true in East Tennessee!