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A Fresh Start for Northern Virginia

Members celebrate the grand opening of the SGI-USA Northern Virginia Buddhist Center, Chantilly, Va., April 7. Financial contributions to the SGI-USA help underwrite the opening of local centers across the nation. Photo by KEN TAKEMOTO.


by Mary Ishimoto Morris
Special to the Tribune

CHANTILLY, Va., April 7—Cherry blossoms were in peak bloom on a beautiful spring day, as members celebrated the official opening of the SGI-USA Northern Virginia Buddhist Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

At 6,000 square feet, this sparkling new center, just a few miles from the Washington Dulles International Airport, is nearly four times larger than the previous Springfield, Virginia, location.

The capacity crowd responded enthusiastically upon hearing SGI President Ikeda’s congratulatory message. In it, he reminded the members that “The Commonwealth of Virginia, nicknamed the Old Dominion, is famous for producing the most U.S. presidents, thus playing a crucial role in the history of this country.”

Likewise, this new Buddhist facility, President Ikeda said, would serve as a “hub of peace” from which “new trends of humanistic thinking” would surface.

Chantilly is located in the heart of the region’s technological industry at the crossroads of major and historic highways in western Fairfax County, which is home to over 1 million residents.

“Let’s fill this center with abundant daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo]!” said SGI-USA Women’s Leader Naoko Leslie, who attended the grand opening. “Let’s enjoy this fres