LOCAL NEWS

Utah museum showcases small item that brings hope, peace to humanity

Aug 7, 2021, 12:56 AM | Updated: Jul 14, 2023, 11:53 am

WENDOVER, Utah — An airplane based in Wendover, Utah, carried and dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

That moment, and another bomb later in Nagasaki, essentially ended World War II. Today, Japan and the United States are close friends, and inside a Wendover museum, there’s an example of how things can change over time.

“We’ve had lots of visitors from all over the world,” said James Petersen, president of the Historic Wendover Airfield Museum.

Walk into any museum and you’ll find all sorts of big things and big moments, marking human history. 

“We can’t forget the past,” Petersen said.

At the Historic Wendover Airfield Museum, it’s the smallest thing that gives humanity hope.

 

“We get quite a few inquiries about the paper crane,” Petersen said.

That crane, folded about as delicately as the paper it’s made from, sits in a special case in the museum. It’s there because the big airplane hangar just down the road is where the Enola Gay was based.

It’s the airplane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II.

The crew on that mission lived and trained in Wendover.

“When we have visitors walk through that door, they walk into this room, and a lot of them just stand there and they feel it,” Petersen said.

In the museum, there are photos, items and even the signatures of the men who flew that mission.

And then, there is that little paper crane.

“That is the very tiniest piece,” said Petersen.

It was folded by Sadako Sasaki, who was only two years old when that bomb fell just a mile from her family’s home in Hiroshima.

She survived, but needed hospital care a few years later, and started folding a thousand little paper cranes as a sign of peace.

Sasaki died when she was just 12 years old.

Doctors believe her leukemia was caused by radiation exposure, but her cranes became legendary in Japan.

“It’s a huge deal,” Petersen said. “It really is.”

A few years ago, her family members donated one of those original cranes to the Wendover museum during a ceremony airfield President James Petersen will never forget.

“People are interested in the story, which is good, because we wanted to, you know, we wanted to be, again, a symbol of peace and reconciliation,” he said.

Today, you can see paper cranes everywhere in Japan — lots of people make them and decorate with them.

And when the KSL Olympic crew arrived at the airport, Alex Cabrero said he saw one of the teams from Germany at baggage claim, collecting all their equipment.

It shows things can always change and there’s always hope for a better tomorrow.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Sylvia Lam with her children. (KSL TV)...

Aley Davis

Free Sparkler app helps Utah parents track their young child’s developmental milestones

It’s well known parenthood doesn't come with an instruction manual — or at least it hasn't, until now. The Help Me Grow Utah program introduced a new app to help parents along the way.

29 minutes ago

Musicians playing inside of Abravanel Hall....

Carole Mikita and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

‘No amount of money’ could convince symphony musicians to give up their home in Abravanel Hall

Utah Symphony musicians say they want to keep Abravanel Hall standing and think renovations make more sense compared to a rebuild.

30 minutes ago

A Herriman police car at the scene of the fatal stabbing....

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Man, 19, arrested in fight that left 16-year-old boy stabbed to death in Herriman

A man, 19, has been arrested and accused of attacking a 17-year-old boy. The confrontation also resulted in the stabbing death of a 16-year-old boy who was with the suspected attacker.

1 hour ago

Verdict was reached in the Chad Daybell murder trial on May 30, 2024...

Eliza Pace and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Jury reaches verdict in murder trial of Chad Daybell

A verdict has been reached in the murder trial of Chad Daybell. The jury's decision will be read at 2 p.m. MST.

4 hours ago

desert lands with a long line of cars waiting on a closed road...

Mary Culbertson

San Juan County crash kills motorcyclist on US 191

A motorcyclist was killed after colliding with the side of a pickup truck in Moab.

4 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Eliza Pace

Jury asks judge about missing instruction on murder charge for Chad Daybell

There was some confusion the Ada County Courthouse this morning when the jury in the murder trial of Chad Daybell noticed critical instructions were missing. 

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utah museum showcases small item that brings hope, peace to humanity