On this somber anniversary of deadly attacks followed by years of war, a garden gathering in West Seattle today sowed seeds of hope for peace.
The new Children’s Peace Garden outside Fauntleroy UCC Church is centered on a Peace Pole installed by the Rotary Club of West Seattle, one of a quarter-millions placed by Rotarians around the world. This morning’s gathering was a celebration of the garden’s completion. Many people worked to bring it to reality:
Third from right in the photo above is Jenny Mandt, who designed the garden. At right is Keith Hughes from the West Seattle Rotary, who explained that the Peace Pole and Children’s Peace Garden embody two of the organization’s seven pillars of service – promoting peace and supportihg education. Also from the Rotary, third from left, was Christine Peak, who leads its Peacebuilding Services Committee, and noted that the Peace Pole project dates back to 1976. They are meant to be a welcoming gesture, she explained. Second from left above is Greg Dirks, Fauntleroy Church’s vice moderator, who observed that “we all have a role to play in fostering peace.” This, it’s hoped, will be a place to reflect. Also – as the church is co-housed with Hazelwood Preschool and the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) – it’ll be a place for children to ponder peace as they see the garden and pole each day.
The dedication event also celebrated peace through music, with a song led by Bronwyn Edwards:
A plaque is yet to come for the garden. It will read, in English and Lushootseed:
This garden is dedicated to the children of the Fauntleroy community. As they gather in this space, part of the traditional homeland of the Duwamish People, may they understand the power of peaceful coexistence amongst all peoples that we symbolize here. As these plants grow, may the children grow to know that whoever they are, they are welcome in this place of beauty and hopeful peace. May peace prevail on Earth.
The next Peace Pole to be planted in West Seattle by the Rotary is planned for C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), with a ceremony planned on the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. September 21st.