Celebrating Spring and Hope in D.C.
There is perhaps no greater sign of Spring than the National Cherry Blossom Festival in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. In a typical year millions of visitors come to view the magnificent cherry blossoms and to celebrate Spring with all its coming glories. It is a quintessential sign of rebirth, growth and life. And yet, because of its repeating nature, it’s easy to take this annual renaissance for granted. It’s easy to forget the powerful history of this change of seasons from death to life. So as this year’s festival comes to an end this week, let’s remember the history and the lessons to be learned.
In August, 1945, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan experienced untold destruction. The atom bombs that exploded above the respective cities – effectively ending World War II – incinerated everything in their expansive blast radii. The destruction was unimaginable. Scientists believed at the time nothing would grow there for 75 years.
But the following Spring, the unimaginable happened again. Cherry trees began to sprout, flowers began to bloom, and the Japanese people began to rebuild where it was thought impossible. The ground of loss was now grounds for life. And with the return of that plant life, came hope.
As we mark another Spring and another cherry blossom festival, let us see the blooms for what they are: the rebirth, life and hope that follow even the darkest of seasons. What an important reminder for us all as we look forward to traveling again!
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