Just a few weeks ago, on an 8 degree fahrenheit November day, Jim Dugan of The World Peace Prayer Society in New York, accompanied by his wife Jackie Eaton, travelled to the College of DuPage, located on the western edge of Chicago, to present the International Flag Ceremony. The event took place in the center of a beautiful campus with several hundred students and numerous school administrators in attendance. For the Flag Ceremony, Jim shared current events that he compiled on every United Nations Member country and Jackie timed the digital presentation on the two large screens. The presentation consisted of slides of each nation showing a world map with an arrow pointing to the nation’s location along with their flag and with the words “May Peace Be In” that nation written across the bottom. Students signed up in advance to carry a flag of their choice and some joined in by choosing a flag during the Ceremony and as Jim came around to each nation, the students shouted the country name and at the end of the region exclaimed May Peace Prevail in that region.
Everyone in attendance took a trip around our amazing planet, region by region, sharing and learning a little bit about what is happening with our sisters and brothers across the globe. The Ceremony took Jim exactly 2 hours of non stop narration and, during the closing remarks, couldn’t be heard over the public address system as the applause was too loud! An eight language Peace Pole was given to DuPage that will be used at numerous events on the campus, and during the Ceremony, students had a chance to write messages of Peace to go into a time capsule inside the Peace Pole. The eight languages on the Peace Pole were chosen as being the eight most spoken languages on this incredibly diverse campus.
The College of DuPage has over 26,000 students and David Swope, the Interim Director with the schools Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion emailed Jim after the Ceremony with the following words: “Mr. Dugan, Allow me the opportunity to sincerely express my profound appreciation. The International Flag Ceremony conducted by The World Peace Sanctuary at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on Tuesday November 18, 2014 was enlightening and edifying in several ways. This Ceremony informed us about issues that exist around the world, in a manner that caused one to have a positive focus on people from all walks of life, all over the world in the same moment of time. Very unique. This Ceremony provided a platform to demonstrate Peaceful Pride in one’s home land, to connect with a place through positive gestures of flag waving and words of encouragement. World Peace Sanctuary “gets it” – that no matter how different we are or where we come from, we all share humanity as a common thread and at the foundation of human existence, is the need for peace. The Ceremony brought to life that people struggle, succeed, hurt, excel and all the rest. Yet through all of our experiences life is always better, where Peace Prevails. Jim, to the World Peace Sanctuary, keep spreading the message of how cultural diversity makes us rich, intricate and robust as humans. The Peace Pole will stand at COD as an awesome reminder of the rewarding experience we shared at the College and perhaps, in an unselfish way, we are a little better as students, staff and administrators because we took some time to humble ourselves and wish peace for others. Thank You!