#625 – Dick Bernard: Eric Lusardi's Peace Pole and Garden, and the International Day of Peace

Today is the annual International Day of Peace. Last night in an e-mail came a three minute video that helped set the stage for today. There are numerous sites emphasizing Peace, including May Peace Prevail on Earth, my own World Citizen, and others.
I knew part of my day today would be delightful, witnessing the public dedication of a Peace Pole and Peace Garden at the Community Commons in New Richmond WI. This was the culmination of an Eagle Scout project for near-15 year old Eric Lusardi, a young man who represents the kind of ideals our world could use a lot more of.
There isn’t much that I can say that would add to a few snapshots taken at the dedication. The New Richmond Peace Pole is unique among hundreds of thousands of Peace Poles around the globe, and it was unique because that is how Eric wanted it to be.
Here are some photos (click on them to enlarge).

The New Richmond WI Peace Pole, with globe affixed to the peak. This pole was designed by, and largely hand-made by the Lusardi family and friends, emphasizing local languages and materials.

The mayor of New Richmond, Fred Horne, reads the Proclamation for International Day of Peace. At his left is Cheryl Emerson, Director of the Commons

Eric Lusardi talks about his Peace Pole and Peace Garden Project

A representative of the New Richmond VFW Post 10818 spoke about the project.

The Dedication Plaque for the Peace Garden/Peace Pole. The plaque honors all who serve their community in any capacity

Melvin Giles helps dedicate the Peace Pole

Melvin Giles and Eric Lusardi and some of the group at the dedication

The group expresses unity with each other for the symbolism of the Peace Pole: a symbol of working for Peace.

A shy young lady became enamored by the Peace Pole.

The family joins the little girl at the Peace Pole.

During the events I had an opportunity to make some comments, and articulated my understanding of how the International Day of Peace came to be and evolved over the last 31 years. I gave a lot of credit to a young Englishman who in the later 1990s campaigned to have Peace Day set at September 21, rather than ‘floating’ as it had been in the earlier years. The last ‘floating’ Peace Day was, tragically, September 11, 2001, when participants at the UN in New York witnessed the Twin Towers being hit.
Afterwards a man with an English accent came up to me and asked more about the young man, who I remembered to be Jeremy. I thought the website was PeaceOneDay.org, and indeed that is the website, if you wish more information. (The young man’s name: Jeremy Gilley).
As I concluded my remarks, I mentioned seeing a brilliant rainbow when I was nearing the western Wisconsin town – one of the most brilliant rainbows I’ve ever seen. Of course, Rainbows are nearly impossible to capture on film, I was driving and I was running a little late as it was, so you’ll simply have to imagine that rainbow. That rainbow seemed a little bit more than simply a coincidence to me. Something wonderful was happening in this little community.
Mission over, I took my cold and my sore back to the car and drove home.
I felt really, really good inside.
Eric Lusardi was still in the community center, getting his Eagle Scout rank, the 108th granted by his troop.
He is richly deserving, and to me he represents the best of our future. His family and fellow citizens of New Richmond WI gave me cause for hope.

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