Pennswood Village Rededicates Its International Peace Pole, Newtown, Pennsylvania -USA

AUGUST 15, 2023

In 2001, Pennswood Village, the Quaker-founded retirement and health care community in Newtown, installed a Peace Pole in front of its community center. Two of the speakers were atomic bomb survivors (Hibakushas) from Japan, Mr. Shigeyuki Yama from Hiroshima and Mr. Hideo Tose from Nagasaki, the sites in 1945 of the two atomic bombs detonated over those cities which killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians.

The Bucks County Peace Center gave Pennswood Village its Peace Pole in 2001 and participated in 2009 in its rededication “to peace in the world for all children everywhere. 

Pennswood Village program participants in Re-dedication of International Peace Pole
saying in multiple languages “May Peace Prevail on Earth”

Participants in the 2023 rededication program included: Dan Murray, Pennswood CEO; residents Lolly Barton, Larry Parker, the Pennswood Chorale, and the Pennswood Singers; Marguerite Chandler of the Quakerism Committee, Steve Nolan, career military officer and Afghanistan veteran; Barbara Simmons, Former Peace Center Executive Director; Pennswood residents Deidre Crumbley, Ruth Peterson, Bob Anderson, Nancy and Bill Strong; Newtown Friends Meeting children Jack and Lydia Ciccimaro; and Danny Thomas, Peace Center Executive Director.

Also included were 1945 photos taken by Joe O’Donnell, an American Marine photographer, and 1955 recorded commentary by Walter Cronkite from interviews he did with eyewitnesses to the bombings.

Lawyer and Pennswood resident Bob Anderson said, “We stand at the crossroads between war and peace, and as the Dalai Lama has stated so beautifully, ‘Peace starts with each one of us individually. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities, and so on. When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. And there are ways in which we can consciously work to develop feelings of love and kindness.’

Marguerite Chandler, organizer of the rededication of the Pennswood Peace Pole, added, “One of those ways is to remember and commemorate the message of the Peace Pole, to strengthen one another’s personal convictions that what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki must never happen again and to celebrate all efforts, large and small since then, to create a world at peace.”

In closing, everyone said in unison: WE REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO PEACE IN THE WORLD!