This year is the 100<sup>th anniversary of a rather special gift... from Japan to the United States.

It all started with a tree-planting ceremony that involved the former US First Lady, Helen Herron Taft, and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to the US.

The trees - cherry blossoms - mark the coming of spring, every year and are an integral part of Japanese culture and spirituality. The trees that now grace the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin, as well as the peninsula known as the East Potomac Park, in Washington DC, in the US, were part of a gift given in 1912.

Every year since then, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated in the American capital, as a reminder of the enduring friendship between the peoples of the two nations. As part of the celebrations, several events are planned... to promote traditional and contemporary arts and culture, as well as natural beauty and community spirit.

Many events are planned that promote traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.

The areas within the National Mall & Memorial Park provide visitors with ample opportunities to commemorate presidential legacies, honor the courage and sacrifice of war veterans and celebrate the United States' commitment to freedom and equality.