March 26 - April 10, 2011
RedTracker| DC welcomes the arrival of spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a tradition that showcases the beautiful gift of 3,000 cherry trees that the city of Tokyo gave to our nation’s capital. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week, city-wide event featuring more than 200 international cultural performances and over 90 other special events.
The blossoming cherry trees symbolize the arrival of spring and surround the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin with their vibrant pale pink and white flowers. Approximately 3,750 cherry trees are situated on the Tidal Basin.
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or “Sakura,” is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Read the history: http://www.nps.gov/cherry/cherry-blossom-history.htm
Plans are already underway for the 2012 centennial celebration of this gesture of friendship. This year, the cherry blossom display will hold special meaning as our nation prays for the people of Japan as they recover and respond to the natural disasters that struck and the potential nuclear fallout they are still facing. We mourn losses, share fears and hold dear the bonds of life that connect us. Though somber thoughts are in our hearts the promise of spring and rebirth remain as a gift to us all.
Anne and I will be in Washington D.C. on April 7, 2011 in support of NARAL Pro-Choice Lobby Day. Anti-choice lawmakers in Congress have launched an all-out war on women’s reproductive rights. States are following their lead.
Allowing hospitals to refuse to provide women with life-saving abortion care. Slashing funds for birth control and cancer screenings. Threatening to take away private insurance coverage of abortion or making it near impossible to obtain even if you can afford it. Attacking health-care providers like Planned Parenthood. All this is on the table and we are fighting back!
NARAL is providing training and organizing lobby visits with members of Congress from your state. Join us. Lisa