September 14, 2023
JOSEPH — The Rotary Club of Wallowa County will unveil its second Peace Pole on Thursday, Sept. 21, on the grounds of Wallowa Lake Lodge, 60060 Wallowa Lake Highway.
A short ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the lodge and is open to the public.
The ceremony coincides with the International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, which is celebrated around the world on Sept. 21, to promote the ideals of peace within and among all nations.
“We wanted to choose this date to tie in our local club’s efforts with the International Day of Peace,” said Rotarian and Peace Pole committee member Judy Allen. “The Rotary Peace Pole is a handcrafted monument erected the world over as an international symbol of peace. We are proud to be considered by Rotary as a Peacebuilders Club, and to be installing our second Peace Pole in the county.”
With the efforts of local artist and woodcarver Steve Arment, the first Peace Pole was designed and built, with the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in nine different languages. Rotarians Ron Polk, Tom Gleasman, and Ralph Swinehart helped install the first Peace Pole near the gazebo on the Wallowa County Courthouse lawn in May 2022.
This second Peace Pole was also designed and built by Arment and will also feature “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in nine languages, with English, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Japanese and Nez Perce featured on both poles; Ukrainian is featured on the Peace Pole at the lodge; Arabic and Chinook Jargon are featured on the courthouse Peace Pole.
“There have been a lot of people, Rotarians as well as other community members, who have worked to bring these two peace poles to our county,” said Rotary President Jeff Fields, who took office July 1. “We’re proud of the work they have done, and of the statement our local Rotary club is making to encourage the ideals of peace. It is especially meaningful to have a pole at this new location which is such a key part of the legacy of the Nez Perce Tribe’s homelands.”
The Peace Pole project is the official project of The World Prayer Society. It began in Japan in 1955 in response to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Rotary International, with 1.5 million members in 35 countries, has been part of the proliferation of Peace Poles around the world, with over 250,000 installed worldwide.