ASHLAND, Ore, -- 75 years ago, an atomic bomb was detonated over Hiroshima, Japan. To commemorate the day, a Hiroshima Peace Tree found its new home at Southern Oregon University.
"It's just a message of hope and peace," said Mike Oxendine, a board member for Oregon Community Trees. To him, the little peace tree holds a lot of meaning.
"We did drop a bomb on Hiroshima 75 years ago today. I think it's super important through this project to understand that should never happen again," said Oxendine.
After the atomic bomb blast, some Hiroshima Peace Trees survived. Seeds from those trees were gathered and used to make new trees like the one at SOU.
"We were able to get a 100 ginkgo seeds and sprout them at the SOU greenhouse here," said Oxendine.
So far 30 trees have been planted in different cities across the state. Each place is carefully picked out.
"To place it some place where it would encourage thoughtful reflection about what this tree stands for," said Oxendine.
The tree is at the SOU Farm is next to the eternal peace flame.
"The idea is that this area at the SOU Farm is dedicated to expanding knowledge and educating future generations." said Oxendine.
You can go see the tree at the SOU Farm now. In the future, there will be an unveiling of a plaque and of the tree. You can find other Hiroshima Peace Trees in Southern Oregon in Rogue River, Central Point and Medford.
Below is a list of the different organizations involved with the Hiroshima Peace Trees:
- Oregon Community Trees - https://oregoncommunitytrees.or
Oregon Department of Forestry - Urban Forestry https://www.oregon.gov/odf/ForestBenefits/Pages/Hiroshima-peace-trees.aspx
- This group made the connections and facilitated the distribution of Oregon Peace Trees.
- This organization through Jim Gersbach's hard work and leadership created the story map and has been tracking and distributing the peace trees.
- One Sunny Day Initiative - http://www.osdinitiatives.com/
- Hideko- Local Rogue Valley resident, Hiroshima survivor, and peace ambassador was the lead on this entire project.
- Green Legacy Hiroshima - http://glh.unitar.org/
- The group that collected and dispersed the seeds to us.
- SOU Farm - https://farm.sou.edu
- Professor Vincent Smith facilitated the permanent planting location and was our ambassador and supporter at SOU.
- Ashland World Peace Flame - https://www.ashlandcpc.org/ashland-world-peace-flame-monument
- The other signifcant monument to peace at the SOU Farm
- Plant Oregon - https://www.plantoregon.com/
- Donated the planter and materials, and has donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of trees to SOU and Ashland over the years.