Lynnwood residents invited to observe International Day of Peace Sept. 21

A peace pole displayed in front of Lynnwood City Hall.

Lynnwood residents and friends are invited to gather to observe the United Nations International Day of Peace, or “Peace Day,” on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m.

This is the first time the city will observe International Peace Day, inspired by peace poles recently installed throughout the city. Each pole contains the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” in eight languages spoken by members of Lynnwood’s diverse community. The event will take place at each of the locations featuring a peace pole.

International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations, to provide a globally shared date for Earth’s people to commit to peace above all other priorities. It is observed around the world each year on September 21st.

“Lynnwood is a special city indeed,” said Mayor Nicola Smith. “I hope that these symbols of peace encourage a culture of civility and respect amongst us all as we continue to strive to be a welcoming, inclusive and safe city.”

Lynnwood Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission (DEIC) Chair Jon Waters said the community is looking toward its peacemakers now more than ever.

“Sept. 21 reminds us to be those peacemakers, to shine a beacon so bright for our residents,” he said. “The DEIC proudly celebrates the International Day of Peace with the City of Lynnwood, and reaffirm our commitment to being that shining beacon, where all are welcome.”

Mayor Smith thanked key contributors the peace pole project, including the Lynnwood Rotary International Committee for partnering with the city and now-Eagle Scout Jim Osburn for bringing recognition to the importance of peace. Osburn, who spearheaded the effort, said he was inspired by another Eagle Scout who had installed a peace pole and garden at Lynnwood Elementary, where he attended.

“His message of peace inspired me, and stuck with me for the longest time,” Osburn said. “When I heard the words ‘Eagle Project,’ I always thought of the Peace Pole at Lynnwood Elementary.” 

Gunnvor Tveidt, who served with Everard Espinosa as 2018-19 International Committee co-chairs for Lynnwood Rotary, explained the organization’s motivation for sponsoring the Peace Poles.

“Rotary International promotes peace building worldwide,” she said. “Our local Rotary Club of Lynnwood International Committee elected in a small way to join (these) efforts by erecting peace poles in our community. In this way, we enhance awareness of efforts toward peace on earth, inviting citizens to join with us, creating peace and harmony at home.”

Eagle Scout Jim Osburn ensured that some of the nine poles he installed for his own Eagle project are located at public schools “to share the message of peace, and hope they continue to spread it,” he said.

Peace poles may be found at South County Fire Station 15, Lynnwood Police Department, Lynnwood City Hall, Veterans Park, Lynnwood Library, Lynnwood High School, Alderwood Middle School, Edmonds Community College, and Alderwood Boys & Girls Club. Each location will feature a short observance on Peace Day that is meaningful and relevant. Edmonds Community College is the exception, and will hold their observance on Sept. 23, after school is back in session.

At Lynnwood High School and Alderwood Middle School, the diverse school community will be the focus of the day’s observance.

“As a school system serving over 51% of our students and families of color and over 115 different languages spoken in the homes of our youth, we are deeply committed to creating an environment of deep respect, kindness and, of course, peace,” said Edmonds school District Superintendent Kris McDuffy.

“We are proud to be a part of this special day and to host Peace Poles on our school grounds,” she said. “While we recognize this one special day, this work and this commitment are a part of who we are and what we do every hour, every day.”

South County Fire interim assistant fire chief Thad Horvis  said he is looking forward to observing Peace Day at the Lynnwood Fire Station.

“South County Fire is honored to celebrate International Peace Day with the City of Lynnwood,” he said. “The day reminds us all what we can accomplish locally and across the world when we embrace diversity, understanding and respectfully working together.”

A map containing specific locations of Lynnwood peace poles may be viewed at www.discoverlynnwood.com. Find the peace pole nearest or most meaningful to you, and join neighbors and friends in dedicating ourselves to a culture of peace within this beautifully diverse community and throughout the world.

For further information, contact Rotary Club of Lynnwood Peace Pole Coordinator Deborah Kilgore at deborah.kilgore@gmail.com.

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