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Local woman honored in Salem at peace tree ceremony

Hideko Tamura Snider waters a Hiroshima Peace Tree Aug. 9 in Ashland. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

A Rogue Valley woman who survived the bombing of Hiroshima as a girl was the guest of honor Wednesday at a ceremony in Salem to recognize a program she started to plant saplings throughout Oregon that were grown from the seeds of trees that survived the atom bomb more than 75 years ago.

Hideko Tamura-Snider, a 10-year-old when the United States dropped the bomb Aug. 9, 1945, attended the ceremony at Oregon Department of Forestry’s headquarters in the state’s capital.

Tamura-Snider, a community activist who founded the One Sunny Day Initiative to promote peace and nuclear disarmament around the world, played a major role in ensuring “survivor seeds” of the bombing were planted.

She did it with the help of Ashland arborist Mike Oxendine, who germinated the seeds before Oregon Community Trees and Oregon Department of Forestry collaborated in finding homes for them.

Representatives from 45 organizations that planted 51 peace trees in 35 communities around the state were invited to the ceremony.

The fifty-first tree was planted in Gresham Sept. 19, and as part of Wednesday’s ceremonies, ODF dedicated the ginkgo peace tree planted on its campus back in April 2020.

Tamura-Snider gave a keynote address and planted a tree near the Southern Oregon University student farm in Ashland Aug. 9, during the 77th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima.