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Virtual Online Meeting – Heiwa: Rotary Hiroshima Survivor Trees – Planting for Peace
August 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Guest speaker: Steve Yoshida, Rotarian and US Coordinator for Heiwa
Heiwa (Japanese for “Peace”)
Rotary Hiroshima Survivor Trees (Heiwa) is a coalition of Rotary clubs in Japan and the US that distribute survivor seeds and plants from Hiroshima with the message of peace, hope, and survivability. Members include a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and a Hiroshima bomb survivors.
Heiwa grew from the vision of its parent, Green Legacy Hiroshima (GLH), working under its guidance. Now Heiwa harvests survivor seeds and grows plants in its own greenhouses in Hawaii and California to spread through Rotary clubs all over the world.
The seedlings are from trees that survived the nuclear attack that killed 140,000 people and devastated the city of Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 8, 1945. In the aftermath, experts predicted the city’s soil would remain too toxic to give life to anything for the next 75 years. To their pleasant surprise, after several months, in the spring of 1946, people started to see new buds springing out from the seemingly burnt trees. That gave them hope that they too could live, and [the trees] became a symbol of hope and peace, to tell people how horrible the bombing was, to promote peace, and help propagate and distribute survivor trees.
Heiwa is organizing a Hiroshima Peace Conference in 2020 to celebrate peace on the 75th anniversary of the one and only use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.