World Peace Day & Peace Pole Dedication
On Sunday, September 20, officials from around the State and Lake Worth residents will come together to celebrate World Peace Day and the completion of a project that has been in the works for over a year: a Peace Pole dedication in front of City Hall. The event, funded and organized by the Rotary Club of Lake Worth, is a symbol that the community is dedicated to furthering the cause of peace locally and abroad.
The Peace Pole dedication will take place in front of City Hall on Sunday, September 20 at 4:00pm. During the ceremony, State Senator Jeff Clemens will present a Peace Proclamation to Mayor Pam Triolo stating that Lake Worth is a World Peace City. Students from Lake Worth High School Chorus will perform the Peace Song, and Lake Worth ROTC Color Guard will offer the Presentation of the Colors.
During the ceremony, declarations of the phrase “may peace prevail on earth,” will be spoken in different languages, including English, Spanish, Finnish, and Mayan, mirroring the languages that are also printed on the pole itself.
The peace pole project has been Patricia Egan’s vision since she first heard about the movement from Rotary’s district governor, Leo Phillips, more than a year ago. Egan, who has chaired the event and dedicated countless hours to its execution, says that the peace pole will make Lake Worth stronger.
“When I heard Phillips describe the project, ‘I can do that,’ I told him” said Egan. “I grew up hearing about World Peace Day. I know the impact a day of celebration can have. I went to the City, and they agreed, ‘We want this in City hall.’ Everyone has come together.”
Rotary adopted the vision for World Peace Day more than twenty years ago. Every year cities around the world hold celebrations similar to the one being held in Lake Worth. The celebrations highlight a variety of ongoing community efforts that support peace and conflict resolution.
In Lake Worth, Rotary has established an anti-bullying campaign in local high schools. They also provide Spanish/English dictionaries to every third grade student in the city. On the weekend of the dedication, Egan has invited every local church and house of worship to speak about the importance of world peace.
“This initiative is non-denominational and non-political. It is an integrated part of the grassroots movement of our foundation to promote world peace and understanding,” said Egan.
In order to publicize the Peace Pole dedication, Rotary held a poster design contest with Lake Worth elementary school students competing to create a poster that illustrates the importance of peace. Egan believes one of the most effective methods of promoting peace is to teach it to students, and that as they become adults they will transform society. The poster contest is part of Rotary's effort to help elementary aged students consider the importance of peace to them personally, as well as, to their community. The winning poster was used for all of the publicity for the peace pole dedication. Fourth grader Alex Fiore from North Grade Elementary won the contest with his design.
Rotary’s ongoing efforts for world peace focus on three goals:
- Conflict resolution, and
- Cultural understanding.
In many countries, Rotarians are well known for their successful partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate polio worldwide by providing vaccinations. In Lake Worth, Rotary offers a student exchange program, which brings a student from abroad into the community and allows a Lake Worth high school student to study in another country in order to promote cultural understanding. The peace pole will act as a reminder that Rotary, as well as many other groups in the community, is continually working to improve and maintain cultural understanding in the City of Lake Worth.
"We have many like-thinking people who are going to be proud of this pole standing in front of City Hall. They know this community stands for peace," said Egan.