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The Blossoms

“I did want to take a minute to talk about the cherry blossoms… the history… talk about what it means,” said Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta on the occasion of the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival celebration hosted by The Ambassador-designate of Japan and Mrs. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama at their residence. “And so I wanted to paint a picture and the picture is that of my family from just a few days ago. There were literally thousands and thousands and thousands of Americans walking the Tidal Basin enjoying the blossoms and my family and I were among them. I’m blessed to have two little girls who quite literally thought they could catch the blossoms but as they would start to fall the wind would catch them, they’d move in unpredictable directions and they never quite caught them. But for about half an hour, they kept trying and trying and trying. We should treasure out time with friends whether it be nations or whether it be family. And I treasured that time with my own family, much as we treasure our friendships among our nations. And so Ambassador, I want to thank you again for hosting this evening, and I’d like to offer a toast.”

Secretary Acosta was preceded by the Ambassador who introduced his wife Yoko and his daughter Reyna. He was so thrilled to now be living so close to Reyna he said: “I will do her laundry by myself.”

“I was thinking the other day,” he added after getting back to the blossoms, “what is the key to the cherry blossoms festivities – their special characters and meanings? It’s [the] friendship between Japan and the United States of America. It is connection that we feel, it is shared values, it is mutual respect about fundamental trust in each other. In some ways, it is those roots we are celebrating as much as the blossoms. The feeling of these festivities simply would not be the same if Japan had not given the trees; instead, the trees were given by some other country. On behalf of my country – beautiful Japan – our heartfelt support to everything that you did, you have done and will be doing with us, ever. And thank you for your friendship, God bless you, God bless US Japan, God bless Cherry Blossom festivities, thank you, thank you very much indeed, thank you.”