Tree planted in memory of Hiroshima resident killed in 9/11 attack in New York

On January 27, an unveiling ceremony of a tree and a plaque in memory of Kazushige Ito was held at Hiroshima Johoku Junior and Senior High School, in Higashi Ward, with some 30 people, including his parents, former classmates, and school staff, attending. Mr. Ito, then 35, a former resident of Aki Ward, Hiroshima and a graduate of this school, was killed in the terrorist attacks that took place in the United States on September 11, 2001.

A maple tree, which is the school symbol, and a plaque inscribed with “Pray for Peace,” have been placed in front of the school’s club house. In his address, Tsugio Ito, 80, Kazushige’s father, said, “I’m certain that my son in heaven is also feeling gratitude for your tributes and this ceremony. I hope the tree will go on growing and that all the students of this school will cultivate their desire for peace.”

Mr. Kazushige Ito was hired by Fuji Bank (now Mizuho Bank) and was later transferred to New York. He was working at the bank’s New York branch in the World Trade Center Building on September 11, 2011 when terrorists flew airplanes into the building, which collapsed to the ground.

Kazushige’s former classmates, including Makoto Miyamoto, 50, a teacher at Hiroshima Johoku Junior and Senior High School, proposed the idea of planting a tree and adding a plaque to remember Kazushige. Mr. Miyamoto said, “I hope the tree and plaque will leave living proof of Kagushige in the hearts and minds of future generations and create an opportunity for students to think about peace.”

(Originally published on January 28, 2016)