The late rock musician John Lennon's widow, artist Yoko Ono, helped celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. Monday by presenting her interactive project known as the "Wish Tree". Producer Zulima Palacio has the story. Jim Bertel narrates.
Write a wish and hang it on a potted cherry tree, here at the base of the Jefferson Memorial not far from the White House. These are the first of 10 "wish trees" that Yoko Ono presented in the U.S. capital. And as she explained, it was also part of a larger project that she started in the 1990s: the Imagine Peace Tower. It will be based in Iceland and house peace wishes from around the world.
"Imagine peace. And I am going around the world saying that you should imagine peace, because I think the power of imagination is very strong," she says.
It was a beautiful spring day in Washington, and visitors of all ages and origin joined the festivities. Some wrote expressions of friendship, love and peace.
"We wrote for respect, peace, love and tolerance for each other," one woman says.
"Peace," a young boy says. "Just peace, no more fighting," says a young girl.
Yoko Ono also presented "wish trees" in other parts of the city. Washington's annual, two-week National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees that the mayor of Tokyo, Japan gave to the city in 1912. The gift was meant to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan. Nearly one million people visit the U.S. capital each year to see the cherry trees in bloom, and to attend the many public events that surround them.