Oklahoma City area YMCA campers send positive messages to counterparts in Japan

Campers from most of the Oklahoma City metro area YMCAs are making peace lanterns to send to Japan to commemorate the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
BY MATT PATTERSON mpatterson@opubco.com Modified: July 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm •  Published: July 18, 2012
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— Eight-year-old Chase Roberts doesn't know a lot about history, but that didn't stop him from sending a positive message to people halfway around the world.

Chase took part in the YMCA's Hiroshima Peace Lantern Project on Monday during the arts and craft portion of his day at camp. The lanterns will be sent to the Hiroshima YMCA and floated down the Motoyasu River to honor the victims of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bomb dropped on the city.

YMCA camps throughout the United States, including the Oklahoma City metro area, are participating.

Chase doesn't know much about that yet, but he was in the spirit of the occasion while working on his lantern.

“I had fun drawing the symbols on it because I really like to draw,” he said. “They are symbols of hope. I think I have about 15 of them on mine. Then we're going to send it to Japan.”

The lanterns will float past the Children's Peace Monument, inspired by a Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki who developed leukemia from the bomb's radioactive fallout.

The girl believed if she folded 1,000 paper cranes she would be cured. She fell short of that goal, but her memory lives on.

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