Oregon Department of Forestry celebrates conclusion of statewide Hiroshima ‘Peace Tree’ plantings
SALEM Ore. (KPTV) – A four-year-long project to plant saplings from the seeds of trees that survived the bombing of Hiroshima will come to a finish Sept. 21, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. ODF chose Sept. 21 as it also marks International Peace Day, first declared by the United Nations in 1981.
In celebration of the project coming to an end, representatives of 45 organizations involved in “peace tree” planting will be present for a ceremony. ODF says they’ll be joined by a number of Japanese-American organizations and welcomed by Oregon State Forester Cal Mukumoto, whose ancestry is Japanese-American.
“These peace trees not only convey a message of peace from the residents of Hiroshima, they are also symbols of survival and resilience in the face of unimaginable destruction,” said Mukumoto. “Seeing them putting down roots in the good soil of Oregon and reaching for the sky gives me hope that people in our state – like the survivors in Hiroshima – can not only endure harsh times but can share with others the hard-won wisdom from having persevered through them.”
Also in attendance will be a guest of honor and a survivor of Hiroshima, Hideko Tamura-Snider from Medford, who was just 10 years old during the bombing. Tamura-Snider eventually moved to the U.S. and founded the One Sunny Day Initiative to promote peace and nuclear disarmament around the world.
The project began when, with the encouragement of Tamura-Snider, Ashland arborist Mike Oxendine began collecting the seeds of survivor trees in Hiroshima.
Oregon Community Trees and the ODF helped in finding homes for the peace trees across the state. According to ODF, the 51st tree was planted in Gresham on Sept. 19.
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