Sadako Sasaki(Hiroshima, 1943–1955) Sadako was approximately 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) from ground zero when the bomb exploded, but miraculously was not injured. She was a happy child who giggled mischievously and was a popular girl at school. She excelled in athletics, often beating the boys in relay races. A decade after the bomb, just before graduating elementary school, Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia and hospitalized. Believing that she would recover if she could fold one thousand paper cranes, she devoted herself to creating cranes until she died six months later. She was only twelve. Sadako’s classmates started a donation campaign in an effort to give Sadako’s life and death some meaning. With the cooperation of children all over Japan, they built a statue, the “Children’s Peace Monument,” in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Now visitors from Japan and other countries dedicate paper cranes which they fold while praying for peace. Children’s Peace Monument. Photograph courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Sadako, after hospitalization, in front of her hospital. Photograph courtesy of Masahiro Sasaki. Paper cranes, folded as prayers for peace. Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan. Photograph by Masao Taira/iStock.