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68 Years

August 6, 2013

By Sister Renee Y.

Thousands of folded paper cranes, made by people all over the world and sent to Hiroshima with the hope for peace, create one large peace dove.

Thousands of folded paper cranes, made by people all over the world and sent to Hiroshima with the hope for peace.

Today is the 68th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. It is a day for thoughtful people to consider the nature of war, the use of devastating power and requirements of any true world peace.

The use of the atomic bomb had always been a topic of conflict in my otherwise peace-loving family because my mother’s brother had been killed at Iwo Jima. I grew up steeped in that tension and retain some of its sadness to this day.

Many years ago, on one of these anniversaries, I joined a group of protesters in the Nevada desert near a government nuclear testing facility. Before being arrested in the afternoon for a non-violent protest, we spent the morning in silent retreat in that beautiful desert.

While sitting quietly in prayer by a small, scrubby bush, I discovered an origami peace dove, sun-bleached and a little battered. Many Japanese peace groups come to the same desert to do what I was doing that day, and I felt that it had been left there by one of them.

Because of the tiny discovery, I bonded with the person who had left it and I understood in a new way that peace will only come when we cease to objectify the other and, instead, see each person as capable of making a little origami dove.

So today, I encourage all of us not only to consider the sobering lessons of this particular anniversary, but to contemplate where we each need to seek peace in our own lives and to search for our own small origami doves to help us.

Image: cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Christoph Rupprecht

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Smullen permalink
    August 7, 2013 7:17 pm

    This beautiful, poignant reflection moves me deeply. I am engaged in making “small” changes – which are actually big – like choosing a different dining room table in my assisted living facility where I can work on being, and bringing, peace….and reaching out to the people I “left behind” at my old table, and building peace. with them ..and am reading Joan Chittister on the subject of Hope. I feel more HOPE for the world than I have in a very long time, because of course world peace begins with me, and you, and it is happening deep inside me and moving to the outside…Blessings of mercy and peace to all – Barbara

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