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In the late 1700s in Japan, one of the first books on origami was published with the title, “How to Fold 1,000 Cranes.” The easy-to-follow directions and beautiful end result ensure the continuing popularity of the origami crane. When one thinks of the art of Origami, the crane is the traditional symbol of this art of paper folding. Moreover, the crane’s habit of mating with only one partner for the duration of its life made it to become the symbol for marital fidelity and honor. As a result, the origami crane also became a powerful symbol for loyalty, nobility, and beauty. According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty.
Imagine you're a citizen of the small Scottish town of Lockerbie, and one day in 1988, hundreds of pieces of metal, random objects, and body parts come raining out of the sky -- a Pan Am airplane carrying 259 people was blown up over you in a terrorist attack, killing all occupants plus 11 bystanders. How would you react? If you didn't say, "By screaming endlessly, curling up in the fetal position under my bed, then moving the hell out of town," then you're braver than us.Well, the actual townspeople of Lockerbie didn't have time to panic. They were too busy diving into the wreckage to collect any personal items they might find. No, not to keep them or sell them on eBay (again: '80s). Simply to comfort the victim's families.
In order to store the tens of thousands of debris pieces that had been scattered over 845 square miles, the first thing the townspeople did was build a warehouse. From scratch. Any items that weren't of forensic value were left for them to organize. But they couldn't hand them to the bereaved families looking all ugly, no. They had to make them presentable. Working as a gigantic assembly line of washers and dryers and ironers and folders, the townspeople restored the countless items of clothing scattered across the charred, muddy, usually quite apocalyptic landscape. They developed rolls and film and put diaries back together to identify the owners, while any stray rings, wallets, and other effects were carefully matched up to the corresponding suitcase. In one instance, the State Department informed one family that they couldn't have their daughter's stuff back because it was "too badly damaged." The people of Lockerbie scoffed at that and un-damaged it...