The peace cranes have been flying again across the duPont Library lobby. The current exhibit was installed the week of Veterans Day last year, the fourth time the cranes have appeared above the lobby. There are now more than 5,200 cranes in the exhibit, which will remain on display until the end of the Advent semester.
The first Sewanee peace crane exhibit was sponsored by the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace in the early 1990s and included origami cranes made by members of the Sewanee community. Over the years as each exhibit ended, a portion of the old display was saved. New cranes were added each time the exhibit was reinstalled. The number of cranes grew from the original 800 to 2,500 the last time the exhibit was displayed in 2005.
About 1,600 of the current cranes were used in the 2005 display. The total was over 4,000 by Memorial Day 2009, with more than 1,000 added since then to honor soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The crane has become a symbol of peace, a tradition that grew out of a mix of Japanese legend and a peace statue in Hiroshima.