The plantings are the result of a combined effort by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Community Trees and the One Sunny Day Initiative, founded by Hiroshima survivor and Medford resident Hideko Tamura Snider.
Snider was a happy 10-year-old when the atomic bomb devastated her home, killed her mother and forever changed her life.
Now in her late 80s, Tamura Snider has dedicated her life to educating the public about the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and to planting “seeds of peace, hope and reconciliation among people of the world.”
In addition to publishing a book, “One Sunny Day,” about the bombing, Tamura Snider wrote a children’s book, “When a Peace Tree Blooms,” and has been involved in a number of memorial events, including annual remembrances of the bombings in Ashland and Medford via her One Sunny Day Initiative.
JoAnn Dixon, chairperson of the Tree City USA committee for the city of Rogue River, said the planting inside the city’s John F. Fleming Park, named for a Rogue River native who died as a young man in Vietnam, was “an incredible opportunity” for the community to think about some of history’s darkest days and to share stories of hope.
“It’s remarkable to think that here is this person who was just a little girl, she survived this horrible bombing and now she travels all over the country reaching out to promote peace in the world. She lives right here in our community and she’s really wonderful. We are just so honored to be one of the recipients of these trees,” said Dixon.
“The tree is already really beautiful. It’s about four feet tall and full of gingko leaves. It doesn’t have a spot of dried leaf, and it’s just gorgeous. It sits in the park along the river as a tribute. We’re so happy to have it.”