New plaza in DC to honor origin of cherry blossoms - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

New plaza in DC to honor origin of cherry blossoms

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A 360-year-old Japanese stone lantern that is lit each year at the National Cherry Blossom Festival to commemorate the relationship between the United States and Japan will soon have a more prominent place on the National Mall.

A nonprofit group working to improve the mall is holding a ceremonial groundbreaking Sunday for a new granite plaza and walking paths to display the historic lantern. It sits along the Tidal Basin among some of the original cherry trees given by Japan 101 years ago.

Construction of the new $400,000 plaza and paths will begin after the cherry blossom festival concludes.

Caroline Cunningham of the Trust for the National Mall says the idea is to create a place for reflection and to honor Washington's relationship with Japan among the cherry blossoms.

By BRETT ZONGKER Associated Press

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