- Mayor Victoria Woodards, City of Tacoma,
- Ryan Mello of the Pierce County Council,
- a Metro Parks Commissioner,
- Brendan Nelson of Hilltop Action Coalition,
- Clare Petrich, President of Tacoma Sister Cities,
- the Tacoma Refugee Choir,
- Steve and Kristi Nebel,
- and emcee Frances Lorenz.
This is a unique time for the community to come together and express their thoughts on community and nonviolence. Frances Lorenz, organizer of the event and ceremony. It’s a time to launch the “Peace Plaza” and Tacoma’s Sister Cities role in creating a preservation fund that will keep the Peace Plaza going for many years to come, there have been so many contributors to purchase this beautiful pole. Clare Petrich, President of Tacoma Sister Cities program.The idea of Peace Poles began with Mr. Masahisa Goi after World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Goi understood that words and intentions carry energy strong enough to influence the destiny of all human beings. The new 12’ Peace Pole carries the message in all the languages of our sister cities proclaiming, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” Here is a more detailed history behind the new Tacoma Peace Pole:
September 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of an event that changed our country and our world forever. With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we were shocked into the realization that life is very fragile and that every life is vulnerable. Almost 3,000 innocent victims died on that tragic day. Profound sadness at the loss of human life impacted us as never before.
The death of so many innocent people actually united Tacomans to be a stronger community dedicated to the pursuit of Peace and Justice. We have witnessed the ‘miracle in tragedy’ in many different ways since that fateful day. Thousands of acts of kindness, bravery, heroism and generosity have resulted from the horrendous event of 9/11, 2001.
Citizens of Tacoma responded creatively to the tragedy. As a community we know that we must strive for World Peace so, as a tribute to the innocent victims of 9/11 a huge 38’X20’ Harbor Flag on a 100’ pole with a massive world globe at its base were installed. Also, a Peace Pole with the saying, “Let there be Peace on Earth”, in the languages spoken in Tacoma’s Sister Cities and Sister Port Cities was installed. The Plaza around the Flag Pole and the Globe is paved with 3,000 bricks and granite squares. It is a beautiful Harbor Flag monument built in the heart of our city at the north end of the Thea Foss Waterway on the shore of Commencement Bay. It’s our city’s call for Peace. And also, at the base of the Harbor Flag, there is a quote from Thea Foss herself: “The whole world is my family.”
Twenty years have passed and we now need to repair the damage that Mother Nature and some irresponsible people have done to the site. We want to install a much taller Peace Pole made of stainless steel. We must remove the rust and graffiti on the Globe and add markers for new Sister Cities. We need to replace damaged tiles and install an Interpretive sign so that everyone who visits this “Peace Plaza” will understand why it was built.
The dedication ceremony is planned for September 21st at the Peace Pole in Thea’s Park on United Nations International Day of Peace. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to repair and improve the site and begin an Endowment fund. With your help, the new Peace Pole can be installed this September.
We are counting on your generosity and commitment to a compassionate and peace-filled Tacoma where this Peace Plaza reminds people everyday of the importance of daily acts of peace to neighbors, loved ones and strangers throughout the world.
Thank you very much for your consideration. It is deeply appreciated.