A tree grown from the seed of an endangered ginkgo biloba that survived the Hiroshima nuclear blast 75 years ago has been planted in Albany.
The tree honours the memory of the 140,000 people killed in the world’s first atomic bombing on the Japanese city on August 6, 1945 by US forces during World War II.
Yesterday, on the International Day of Peace, Albany unveiled its sapling, planted next to the National Anzac Centre at Mt Adelaide to commemorate those who died.
Considered to be one of the oldest tree species on earth, the ginkgo biloba trees were among the few living things to survive the blast.
From the tree’s charred trunks grew seeds which have been distributed worldwide as part of Mayors For Peace — a global movement started in 1982 by the mayor of Hiroshima to call for the worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons.
Albany is among six WA councils to receive seedlings and participate in the commemorations, which have spread to 164 countries.
Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the city’s military history made it an appropriate and significant place to plant a ginkgo sapling.
“The events of Hiroshima were profound and an example of the brutal impact war has on hundreds of thousands of lives, as well as the lives of those around them,” he said.
“Planting this second-generation ginkgo tree sapling commemorates the events of 1945, shows our support in the abolition of nuclear weapons and drives us towards a world where combat is a thing of the past.”
At yesterday’s service, Albany veteran Bertram Hastie was awarded a 75th anniversary medallion and certificate in recognition of his World War II service.
The commemorative medallions and certificates, produced by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, are available to all living WWII veterans.
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