VANCOUVER — Over the past few years, Rotary clubs around Clark County have placed a number of Peace Poles in the area. Members of the Vancouver Sunrise Rotary are the latest to join in the Peace Pole Project.
A handful of Vancouver Sunrise Rotary members gathered Saturday morning at Orchards Park to place their own Peace Pole and to conduct a dedication ceremony.
“In the past few years, Clark County Rotarians have placed them in various locations around the area,’’ said John Schaffers, former president and current treasurer of the Vancouver Sunrise Rotary.
According to Peacepoleproject.org, “when you plant a Peace Pole in your community, you are linking with people all over the world who have planted Peace Poles in the same spirit of peace.’’ Each Peace Pole proclaims the prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth’’ in four different languages. A Peace Pole is an internationally-recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth.
The Vancouver Sunrise Rotary Peace Pole displays the prayer in English, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese. Schaffers said, “We did this because these are common heritages, or languages spoken, in Vancouver schools.’’
Peace Poles can be found on all the continents around the world. Members of the Vancouver Sunrise Rotary have a long history of service to Orchards Park, so that location was an easy decision for its members.
“Our Rotary has developed and maintained the rose garden at Orchards Park to honor Clark County citizens who have done great things for the county,’’ Schaffers said. “We’ve been doing that for 30 years.’’
Vancouver Sunrise Rotary members also built a picnic shelter at Orchards Park 25 years ago according to Schaffers, who says he’s been a member of the club for “31 or 32 years.’’
“We wanted to put the Peace Pole there mainly to get the club recognized as a peace club,’’ he said. “We wanted to put up the Peace Pole and do a few other things as a club to promote peace in the area.’’
Schaffers said that Rotarians have long been involved in the promotion of peace.
“It’s something Rotarians have been involved with for many years,’’ Schaffers said. “Rotarians were even involved with setting up the United Nations after World War II. It’s something Rotarians have felt very strong about.’’
Schaffers was joined at Saturday’s installation and dedication of the Peace Pole by fellow Vancouver Sunrise Rotarians David Weedman, Bob Ives and Erich Orth.
“I feel great about it,’’ Schaffers said. “I really feel like it’s going to add to the park very much.’’
Peace Poles have been presented to many international organizations and governments to promote a Culture of Peace around the world. Peace-lovers of all faiths have been involved in Peace Pole dedications, including the XIV Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, President Jimmy Carter, Deepak Chopra and John Denver, as well as mayors, clubs and Girl Scouts.
There are Peace Poles on the Allenby Bridge between Israel and Jordan; at the Peace Park where 84 Peace Poles commemorate the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; at the War Museum in Viet Nam; at Robben Island in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned; at the Pyramids at El Giza in Egypt; at the site of the baptism of Jesus at Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan; and at schools, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples across the United States and around the world.