FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Survivors and family members gathered at the Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima to honor those killed and pray for peace.
In Fresno, trees were planted at the Fresno State’s Peace Garden in memory of the bombing.
Three trees were planted Thursday morning to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, remember those who died and to hope that nuclear weapons are never used again.
“It is a huge honor for us and a great opportunity not just for the community but specifically for our students to learn from the past and to see that we have the ability to change the future,” said Hisham Qutob, Interim ASI President at Fresno State.
The seeds that were used to plant the trees came from a camphor tree that survived the Hiroshima bombing 75 years ago.
“Hopefully these trees will grow up in the next 20-30 years and we’ll have a beautiful space here where students can really think about war and peace,” said Andrew Fiala, professor of philosophy and Director of Fresno State Ethics Center.
Less than three-quarters of a mile from ground zero, the tree was damaged and bent by the blast but remained standing.
It was one of 170 trees that survived, who are now a symbol of peace and hope.
“I see these trees as symbolic of life continues despite destruction and you know trees continue to reach for the sun and the roots reach for water and there is a sort of life that I think these trees can represent,” Fiala said.
Thursday’s ceremony also marks the beginning of a three-day fast which ends August 9th at 11 a.m.
The fast is in recognition of Nagasaki’s atomic bombing. It is up to each participant to define how they will fast during this commemoration.
“It could be just giving up chocolate, coffee, skipping breakfast for a couple days, other will fast for three days as a spiritual journey,” Fiala explained.