The City of Findlay and Hancock County planted 13 cherry trees in Downtown Findlay’s Dorney Plaza in late May to commemorate their many years of friendship with Japan and a local cultural group.
Culture and friendship
“Friends of Findlay” is a consortium of 13 Japan-based companies in Northwest Ohio. The group was formed to bridge the cultural gap experienced by employees and residents and to establish, support and build friendly relationships with Northwest Ohio communities.
Although the ceremony took place on a rainy Monday morning, the weather did not dampen the spirits of those attending. Findlay Mayor, Lydia Mihalik, dedicated the cherry trees on May 21st and committed to the Friends of Findlay to nurture the friendship and partnership that Findlay and the Friends of Findlay companies have developed and maintained over the last 30 years.
Mihalik noted in the dedication, “l will not forgot the effort, the sacrifice, the beauty and the impact our friendship has produced. May these beautiful trees in the heart of our civic space long be an everlasting reminder of the things that we value together, Tomodachi (‘friends’).”
Sakura (“Cherry Blossom”)
During the ceremony, the Wilson Vance Intermediate School fifth grade choir sang the popular Japanese song Sakura, which means “cherry blossom” or “cherry tree,” according to Dr. Hiroaki Kawamura of the University of Findlay. The students sang in both Japanese and English and were accompanied by their music teacher, Judy Wicinski, who played the recorder flute as the children sang.