May peace prevail” were the words attendees repeated the night of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, in the Hemmingson Center.
On Sept. 21 students one by one added a flag to the spiral during the World Peace Flag Ceremony, hosted by Communities for Justice, Pax Christi and One Peace, Many Paths.
“So, we’re doing this this night with honoring all of the flags of the nation,” said Hank Broeckling, co-director at One Peace, Many Paths, adding that they started the ceremony six years before.
Broeckling said the purpose of the ceremony is to connect with other people and nations around the world to “rise above the energy of discord, the energy of dissention,” and move beyond that by sharing energy and love with those around the world.
“We really appreciate the joy that you bring by sharing your time tonight to be here to think about how we come together in a time of such divisiveness,” Kristine Hoover, director of the Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies said. “And we think about, locally, the challenges that we’re facing with Freeman [high school], when we think about, globally, the challenges that we’re facing with [North] Korea, and yet we remember that we’re all part of the same community together.”
Hoover added the ceremony was an opportunity to take action and demonstrate “the mosaic of the world that we all belong to.”
Sister Anne Bosserman, from Pax Christi, discussed how two years ago, 194 nations signed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
These goals focused on issues including poverty, hunger, gender equality, clean water, access to energy, education, economic growth, conservation of marine life, desertification, climate change, inequality and many others.
“These are the global goals for 2030, and Spokane is already accomplishing some of them,” Bosserman said, later reading the summary of the goals found in the preamble of the United Nations global goals along with two other speakers.
Before blessing the ground where the flags were placed, a collection basket was brought out to help raise money for victims of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean area.
During the blessing, attendees joined hands in a circle around the space where the flags would be placed while Broeckling gave the blessing.
“I ask you to know that each one of us is a representative of God this night,” Broeckling said during the blessing. “We are the hands and feet of God in this world and that when we come here we bring with us energy and light and love to do our work.”
Broeckling then asked attendees to give their love and light to bless the ground, “to fill it with light and energy, and to sustain it and lift the energy up,” so it can be carried by the flags to the countries around the world.
Before the start of flag presentation, Joan Broeckling, co-director of One Peace, Many Paths, gave a brief history of the ceremony.