As the second anniversary of the devastating tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 nears, remembrance and gratitude is being shown through a fundraising effort in Dayton, Ohio. Japanese-born Businessman Alex Hara formed Operation 1000 Cherry Trees in 2012 to thank the American people for their assistance after the tsunami in his homeland.
In April of this year, 100 cherry trees will be planted near the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, in conjunction with this project.
“The vision of the project is to have a Cherry Blossom Path of Dayton; in conjunction with the ongoing beautification projects in the cities of Moraine and West Carrollton, to the Air Force Base and proposed site of the Wright Brothers Monument at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 75,” said Hara. “Montgomery County officials have been great advocates and strong supporters of this effort.”
Operation 1000 Cherry Trees is an organization dedicated to raising funds to purchase and plant cherry trees in and around Dayton, Ohio. It gives Japanese and Japanese-American people the opportunity to show their appreciation, while at the same time, planting a seed for friendship that will endure for generations. Former Ohio Governor Bob Taft serves as Honorary Chairperson for the project and Consul General Kuninori Matsuda, Consulate General of Japan in Detroit has supported the project, attending two groundbreaking events in 2012.