PBS39 Re-Dedicates Peace Pole on U.N.'s International Day of Peace
In celebration of the United Nations' International Day of Peace, PBS39 hosted a ceremony Wednesday morning to re-dedicate its Peace Pole, located at the PPL Public Media Center at PBS39 on the SteelStacks campus. The poignant event took place during a turbulent time for the nation, one marked with terrorism and unrest.
The Peace Pole was originally placed on September 11, 2011, marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the official dedication of the PBS39 Public Media & Education Center (renamed PPL Public Media Center at PBS39 in 2015). The message on the pole, inscribed in eight different languages (Arabic, English, German, Hebrew, Irish, Japanese, Sanskrit, and Spanish), reads: "May Peace Prevail on Earth," and serves as a constant reminder to visualize and pray for world peace.
In his comments to the gathering, Tim Fallon, PBS39 CEO, noted that "Peace Poles are recognized as a prominent international symbol and a monument to harmony; they represent the oneness of humanity's wish for a world at peace. The World Peace Prayer Society estimates that there are more than 200,000 Peace Poles in over 180 countries across the globe."
The morning featured remarks from Deborah Moldow, UN Representative for the World Peace Prayer Society. Alex Karras, Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez's Chief of Staff, presented a proclamation declaring September 21, 2016 "PBS39 Peace Pole Re-dedication Day." Monica Willard, UN Representative for the United Religions Initiative, then narrated the World Peace Flag Ceremony, leading the assembly in wishes for world peace as fourth-grade students from Donegan Elementary School paraded 200 flags. Students from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts Touring Choir, led by Director of Vocal Music, David Macbeth, performed two songs during the celebration: "You Are the New Day" and "All Flesh is Grass."
"It is part of PBS39's mission to have a harmonizing impact on our community," Fallon said. "The re-dedication of our Peace Pole is a perfectly unique way to unify individuals and organizations from our region, while participating in a movement that spans the world over."
"We dedicated the Peace Pole five years ago," Willard said. "We had an interfaith representative assist us in 2011, and there are a lot of prayers buried with PBS39's Peace Pole. The hopes and dreams of the youth celebrating with us today -- and connecting them to the world at large -- were my joy. To do this locally, and to bring the work that I do at the United Nations home to PBS39 and this amazing place of transformation, may this be a starting point toward transforming us into a world of peace."