Let’s all do our piece’: A wish for Peace in eight languages now stands in Braintree, Massachusetts – USA

October 15, 2022

BRAINTREE – The simple white pole has four sides and a five-word message in eight different languages.

“May Peace Prevail On Earth,” it reads.

Members of the Braintree Rotary Club and town officials gathered Tuesday afternoon to dedicate a “Peace Pole” near the entrance arch to French’s Common. It is just the third Peace Pole of its type in New England, said Joanne Tully, a past president of the club.

“We believe when people work to create peace in their communities and within themselves, that change can have a global effect,” she said. “You may not be responsible for world peace, but you are responsible for your piece. So, let’s all do our piece for peace.”

Tully said promoting peace is one of the seven areas of focus of Rotary International, the club’s parent organization. The service organization has a total of 1.4 million members worldwide. Its Rotary Action Group for Peace has promoted the installation of the poles.

The Peace Pole was created in 1965 by Masahisa Goi, a Japanese writer and philosopher,  because of the destruction caused by World War II, especially the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tully said Goi sought to spread the message of peace around the world.

It is estimated there are now 250,000 Peace Poles globally. Tully said they are reminders that peace “starts within each of us and in our local community.”

Denver Gibbs, the club’s past president, learned of the project last year and proposed it to the membership. Tully said the languages that appear on the Peace Pole, from English to Arabic, were chosen because they are the ones most used by students in the Braintree schools.

Mayor Charles Kokoros said the variety of languages on the Peace Pole shows the town’s diversity.

“This is who we are,” he said.

Kokoros said the Peace Pole would be a symbol of the town’s “dedication to peace on Earth and peace in our community.”

Members of the Braintree High School concert choir sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth” at the ceremony.

Credit: Tom Gorman/The Patriot Ledger