“RUN THE RACE OF PEACE”
July 4, 2008
Submitted by Anne Creter
It is hard not to expound on what a joy it was walking in our parade for peace, knowing how daring this is in our town. Those in charge, determined to uphold only traditional patriotic expression, wanted us to go away. But we stood our ground, even after that disturbing July 3rd letter to-the-editor about “some people crashing the parade for political purposes.” We felt it essential this year to dare to disturb the universe to raise peace awareness, expressing our alternate patriotic truth — gently yet firmly. After all, we knew of two other NJ towns with similar “Peace is Patriotic” themes in this year’s parades that were welcomed.
We were affirmed, not only by a recent articulate national “Patriotism” campaign speech — but by the current Time Magazine cover story on the New Patriotism — that expression of ALL types of patriotism makes America stronger! I knew we were an important part of the Children’s Parade when I saw so many young ones lovingly flash us the peace sign; it was a heartwarming and hopeful omen. We were thrilled by our rousing reception, palpably stronger than in previous years. If this is a barometer, consciousness has indeed shifted!
The grand finale was our afternoon reading of the Thomas Jefferson Peace Prayer around the Peace Pole in the park. It was an impromptu gathering which attracted more than 30 people, including the Mayor’s wife and son, as well as 2 Councilmen! We solemnly placed a beautiful peace rose http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_(rose) in the Peace Pole garden after each Peace Prayer paragraph was read and ended by exclaiming in unison “May Peace Prevail On Earth.”
We felt fulfilled that our vision of people around the Peace Pole reflecting on peace & patriotism had finally manifested so visibly in public, an indication the culture of peace is advancing. We were moved by this democracy in action (no pun intended), freely expressing our still-so-amazingly controversial peace view. Hopefully we succeeded in establishing the Peace Pole event as a non-threatening, appropriate and enhancing new 4th of July Riverton tradition that can become part of the official program next year!
Now onto planning our official Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony on Sunday afternoon, September 21 in honor of the International Day of Peace!
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH!