|Jenna on graduation day, 2005.|
Manchester College (now Manchester University) was where the first recognized undergraduate Peace Studies program in the U.S. was born, with its BA in Peace Studies first offered in 1948. The Gladdys Muir Peace Garden was established in 2001 and is adjacent to the 1929 Meeting House, used today for gatherings and classes.
|Gladdys Muir Peace Garden at Manchester University|
|Peace pole in front of the meeting house at Manchester|
University, North Manchester, Indiana.
For example, one of the peace poles at Manchester has the phrase in English, of course, and Miami, which is one of the Native American tribes to inhabit the area. (Eastern Miami tribes.)
Today, The Peace Pole Project is overseen by The World Peace Prayer Society, a non-sectarian pacifist organization affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The first peace poles outside Japan were constructed in 1983 and there are now more than 100,000 around the world in over 180 countries.
I never gave the peace poles or the peace garden another thought until a couple of weeks ago when I attended the IGC Show (Independent Garden Center), held every year on Navy Pier in Chicago. As I was walking the aisles of the large trade show, these modern peace poles at the Magnet Works, Ltd. booth caught my eye.
|Magnet Works, Ltd. / Studio M booth at IGC, Chicago.|
It was love at first sight. Coming in both 4' and 6' sizes and numerous colorful designs, I wanted one of each. The first intelligible words out of my mouth when I spied them were, "I have to have one of these." And before I left the show that week, I'd purchased one to have shipped to Our Little Acre.
The peace pole arrived last Friday and on Saturday, we put it up. The installation was so easy (and brilliant) that I didn't even take photos of the process. It took just five minutes and then I spent another five admiring it.
Artist Stephanie Burgess is the creative force behind the peace poles, with these being reproductions of her original wooden designs. These are printed using special fade-resistant methods and are laminated onto PVC, making them lightweight for shipping, yet durable.
I chose the "Peace Garden" in a 6' size. The "Peace Pole" style is a colorful version of the original peace poles with "May Peace Prevail on Earth" printed on each of its sides in four different languages. A portion of the sales from this particular style are donated to The World Peace Prayer Society.
Studio M, the division of Magnet Works, Ltd. that makes the Peace Poles, is the wholesale source for purchasing, but they are available for retail sales at various venues throughout the country. Here is a search tool for finding a retailer near you.
With ever-new awareness that we have not yet achieved world peace, and with the United Nations' International Day of Peace approaching on September 21st, perhaps we should reflect on this:
MISSION STATEMENT of THE WORLD PEACE PRAYER SOCIETY
The Power of Thought
Thought forms create an energetic field strong enough to empower the course of planetary destiny.
The Power of Words
Words carry vibrations strong enough to inspire, heal and transform the human heart as well as the Kingdom of plants, animals and all creation.
The Power of "May Peace Prevail On Earth"
"May Peace Prevail On Earth" is an all inclusive message and prayer. It is a meeting place of the heart, bringing together people of all faiths, backgrounds and culture to embrace the Oneness of our planetary family.
Our Mission is Simple
To spread the Universal Peace Message and Prayer, " May Peace Prevail On Earth," far and wide to embrace the lands and people of this Earth.
It couldn't hurt.