By Phyllis Kennemer
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
The above message, written in almost every known language, appears on more than 200,000 Peace Poles in nearly every country on earth.
Peace Poles are hand crafted monuments made of wood, metal, stone or other elements. Poles usually have four or six sides. The message, sometimes referred to as a prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” is displayed in the language of the country where the pole is placed and repeated in three or more languages on the sides of the pole.
This universal message for world peace began in Japan with Masahisa Goi. Mr. Goi was deeply affected by the destruction caused by the atomic bombs during World War II. In 1955, the peace message came to him while he was in a state of deep meditation and prayer. He felt a need to spread this prayer throughout the global community in the pursuit of inner and outer peace for all. The movement gained momentum in his home country, and in 1976, Mr. Goi instituted the Peace Pole Project. Peace Poles were erected throughout Japan, including sites in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
With the passing of Mr. Goi in 1980, his adopted daughter, Masami Saionji, became the chairperson of the peace society. The organization expanded and gained international recognition due to her leadership. She created the World Peace Prayer and Flag Ceremony in 1983 as a global celebration of the oneness of humanity. The first Flag Ceremony outside Japan was held in Los Angeles, California, in 1986. Since then it has been presented to international audiences on every continent and peace poles are appearing throughout the world.
The Peace Pole Project was established in the United States in 1986. The World Peace Prayer Society was incorporated as a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization in 1988. (www.worldpeace.org) The Society was accepted as a non-governmental organization with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations in 1990. In 200l, the Society’s international headquarters was established as the World Peace Sanctuary in Wassiac, New York. The Sanctuary, two hours north of New York City, occupies 154 acres. The grounds are open to the public year round and include a peace path, a peace prayer field, a peace labyrinth, and a sacred grove of black walnut trees.
The September 11th Memorial Peace Pole was dedicated at the World Peace Sanctuary during the 2002 Peace Festival. It is eleven feet high and bears the peace message in twelve languages. Other noteworthy landmarks include the Kaminski Peace Gong designed by Hank Kaminski and an enormous metal sculpture of the world globe crafted by Peter Woytuck. An exact replica of this sculpture was also placed at the Mt. Fuji Sanctuary in Japan.
Peace Poles continue to appear throughout the world. They have been placed in parks, by museums, on church grounds, at mortuaries, next to educational institutions and in many other types of locations. People traveling in northern Colorado can spot Peace Poles in such places as Christ United Methodist Church and Community of Christ Church in Fort Collins; United Methodist Church and Allnut Mortuary in Eaton; First Presbyterian Church and the Museum and Gallery in Loveland; St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish and the Public Library in Boulder; Sunrise Park in Johnstown; and the Greeley Depot — to mention only a few of the many that are out there.
Peace Poles may be purchased through the Peace Pole Project website (www.peacepoleproject.org). They range in price from $195.00 for a four-sided pole with four languages up to $1450.00 for an octagon pole featuring eight languages. The purchaser can choose languages from a list of more than a hundred possibilities. Mr. Goi’s prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” is a registered trademark of The World Peace Prayer Society. His vision continues to expand and prosper. Peace Poles are recognized as the most prominent international symbol for peace that exists in the modern world.
Dr. Phyllis K. Kennemer is a Certified NLP Life Coach, a Certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator, and an Educational Consultant. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Symbolize the oneness of humanity and our common wish for a world at peace
- Remind us to think, speak and act in the spirit of peace and harmony
- Bring people together to inspire, awaken and uplift the human consciousness
- Stand as a silent visual for peace to prevail on earth
Peace Poles in Notable Places throughout the World
Angkor Watt, Cambodia
Giza Pyramids, Egypt
Greenwich Village, New York City
Israel Jordon Border
Japanese Buddhist Temple, New York City
Khyber Pass, Pakistan
Machu Picchu, Peru
Mount Everest, Nepal
Nevada Test Site, USA
Peace Palace, The Hague, The Netherlands
Planet Hollywood, Australia
River Kwai, Thailand
Sacred Medicine Wheel, Lancaster, Kentucky
U.N. Check Point, Cyprus
U.N. Headquarters, New York