Peace Pole Dedicated at the Pigeon Center
Waynesville’s Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center celebrated the International Day of Peace last week by installing a peace pole.
The event began with a musical invocation, after which speakers talked about all the ways in which PCMDC fosters peace in the community, from childcare to programs for seniors to food distribution. The building itself was celebrated as a place to welcome people in a part of the community where not all were always welcome.
Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 as a time to discuss and maintain peace, the day is designated as a 24-hour period of global ceasefire and nonviolence. 2023’s theme was “Actions for Peace,” which recognized individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. That’s why the PCMDC had an altar illustrating the many actions the center is taking to foster peace.
There are now over 200,000 peace poles worldwide, from the North Pole to the Hiroshima Peace Monument to the Egyptian Pyramids.
Peace poles have four sides, each with the words “May peace prevail on Earth” in a different language.
“The one that we have has the three ancestral languages of the primary people the center serves, and that’s English, Spanish and Swahili, and the fourth side is Cherokee to acknowledge that this is originally Cherokee land,” said volunteer Mary McGlauflin.
The event brought in about 35 visitors and lasted under an hour with a minute of silence at noon. McGlauflin said she was thrilled to be part of such a positive event.
“It made me proud that we were able to get so much rich stuff in such a short period,” she said. “This was a true labor of love; it was very enriching for me, and I hope it was for everyone else.”