34 Peace Monuments Dedicated in 2008
(Year of Olympic Games in Beijing)
Right click image to enlarge.
February 24, 2008 - Khojaly Massacre Memorial, The Hague (Netherlands). "An initiative of Azerbaijani Diaspora & another one built in Ankara (Turkey) commemorating the Khojaly Massacre [on February 25-26, 1992, in Nagorno Karabag, Azerbaijan]. Another memorial will be constructed in Budapest (Hungary)." March 28, 2008 - Jeju April 3 Peace Memorial Hall, Peace Park, Jeju Island (South Korea).
March 30, 2008 - Abraham Lincoln Brigade Memorial, Justin Herman Plaza, foot of Market Street, Embarcadero, San Francisco, California (USA). "Designed by Ann Chamberlain & Walter Hood. Donated by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (ALB) Archives & Veterans & Friends of the ALB. 40-foot long monument comprised of 45 onyx panels held together by a steel structure. The translucent stone squares show scenes from the war & the faces of some US volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), as well as words about the period from writers like Ernest Hemingway." Other ALB memorials in Madison, WI, & Seattle, WA (qv).
April 15, 2008 - Gong Perdamaian Dunia / World Peace Gong (WPG), Godollo, Magyarország (Hungary). From Indonesia.
May 2008 - "Healing Hands," St. Peter & St. Paul Cathedral, Ennis, County Claire (Ireland). Pair of hands sculpured from Threecastles limestone by local artist Shane Gilmore. Six plaques give various interpretations, e.g. peace ("marking a new era of peace on the island of Ireland"), welcome ("acknowledging the presense of immigrants..."), cooperation, healing, and faith, and quoting Isaiah 49:15 ("I will not forget you. I have carved your name on the palm of my hand."). Info courtesy of Julie Obermeyer.
May 2008 - Community Spirt Monument, Woodland Park, Kalispell, Montana (USA). "After five years the Community Spirit Monument is being completed & consists of 4 pillars, each standing 9 feet & weighing around 350 pounds, decorated with nearly brightly colored 2,000 tiles created by members of the community." Left mage shows Ruth Neff, Toni Wells & Sam Neff inspecting a panel of the monument. Right image shows local artist Jani Dryden working on the monument. Information courtesy of Ruth Neff.
May 2008 - Matrimandir, Peace Area, Auroville, Tamil Nadu (India). Means "Temple of The Mother" in Sanskrit. An edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of Integral yoga. Called soul of the city. Took 37 years to build. The surrounding Peace Area (right image) has three main features: The Matrimandir itself with its twelve gardens, twelve petals and future lakes, the Amphitheatre and the Banyan Tree. The area is seen as a whole and work in the different sections proceeds simultaneously.
Late May 2008 - International Peace Garden, Kyiv (Ukraine). One of many International Peace Gardens in different countries. Prewented to Kyiv by Bern (Switzerland).
May 31, 2008 - "Million Penny Project," Groton-Dunstable Middle School, Groton, Massachusetts (USA). Clear acrylic 5x6 foot container filled 2 feet deep with 1,500,000 US pennies, representing each of the 1,500,000 Jewish children killed during the Holocaust. Inspired by the paper clip project in Whitwell, Tennessee (qv), students of teacher Niki Rockwell began collecting pennies in 2006. Donations were received from Polish Holocaust survivor Norman Salsitz, Russian Jewish descendent A. Raymond Tye, and many others. Info & image courtesy of Jayme Kulesz.
June 2008 - "Warning," Mission Street at 17th Street, San Francisco, California (USA). "Contribution of Victor Cartagena to the "Seeing Peace" Billboard Project in San Francisco. This project is a prototype for a larger exhibit slated to be presented at the United Nations in New York in 2009. The intention of the project is to bring the imagination of five visual artists to engage in a dialogue of international peace through the creation of culturally construed images as to what peace looks like as depicted on full size outdoor advertising billboards." Click here for video.
June 16, 2008 - "Breathing," on roof of Peel Wing, BBC Broadcasting House, London (England). "...commemorates journalists & associated staff who have been killed while carrying out their work. A 10-metre high glass & steel column, with a torch-like, inverted spire shape; also features a poem by James Fenton. At night the sculpture gently glows, then at 10 pm every evening (coinciding with the broadcast of the BBC ten o’clock news) the memorial shines a beam of light into the sky for 30 minutes, which reaches up to 900m. Unveiled by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. By Spanish artist Jaume Plensa [whose work includes "Tolerance" in Houston, Texas]" /// This is "Monday's Monument" #109.
June 24, 2008 - Peace Marker Republic of Slovenia, Point of Peace #8, Tiité?, Litija Mayor (Slovenia). One of eight Worldwide Peace Markers. Image shows Litija Mayor Rokavec accepting the Peace Marker.
2008 - Atlanta Peace Trails (APT), Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Being developed by Tourism For Peace (TFP) & Partnerships In Peace (PIP). Click here for Atlanta: City of Peace.
2008 - Tartu Rahu / Tartu Peace Treaty Monument, Tartu (Estonia). "On February 2, 1920, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (brief predecessor to the USSR) renounced its rights to Estonia in perpetuity. Estonia, which had been under foreign domination for two centuries, marks this as its independence day." This is "Monday's Monument" #55.
2008 - Dunya Baris Aniti / World Peace Monument, near Karsiyaka, Izmir (Turkey). Many photos of this monument are on-line, but I've found no information about its conception or purpose.
2008 - "The Mahatma" (Gandhi Statue), Toledo Area Sculptors Guild, 211 Cedar Street, Gibsonburg, Ohio (USA). Sculpted by James Havens. On sale for $60,000. Havens also made Peace Sculpture at Woodstock School, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand (India).
2008 -Bamiyan Peace Park, Bamiyan (Afghanistan). "Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (AYPV), ranging in age from 8 to 20, [had] the same expectation as adults that all civic projects depend on foreign aid. [But] the owner of a local hotel donated soil, two construction companies loaned graders, & the AYPV came with shovels to remove rocks & help with leveling. An international NGO offered funding for the sign as well as construction of toilets. In a clear declaration of their self-confidence, the youth voted to refuse the donation. Eventually, they had an opportunity to sell a book to raise funds and, through its sales paid for a 5-foot-high, 4-foot-wide, pentagonal brick monument, a marble plaque inset with the words in Dari script: "Bamiyan Peace Park Established 1388" (according to the Muslim lunar calendar). The script at the top of the monument reads: "Why not love? Why not make peace?" Vandals defaced the lettering, intentionally splattering red paint across it to resemble drops of blood. The boys came together, recreated the lettering & on the reverse side added the words: "Even a little of our love is stronger than a war of the worlds.'"
2008 - "Great Petition" for women's suffrage, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia). "In the late 19th century, woman's suffrage activists sought support from both men & women throughout Victoria. A giant petition with 30,000 signatures & carried by several attendants, was claimed to be the largest petition presented to the Victorian parliament to that date (1891). Women had to wait another 17 years before they were given voting rights in Victoria. Most Indigenous women would be denied rights until 1962." This is "Monday's Monument" #49.
2008 - "Bury the Hatchet" Stone, Main Plaza - Plaza de las Islas, Bexar County Courthouse, San Antonio, Texas (USA). - Note by Susan Ives, Dec. 27, 2013: "On Christmas day we came across this engraved stone embedded in the pavement in front of the courthouse. It says: '[The Hatchet Buried - Likewise a Horse - August 15, 1745. Captain Toribio de Urrutia and Fray Santa Ana now determined to do their best to establish a permanent and lasting peace with the Apache nation... This was a great day for San Antonio. After thirty years of depredations, the harassed settlement was about to secure, as was thought, a lasting peace. Early in the morning the plaza began to fill with an eager throng... First, a great hole was dug in the center of the plaza, and in this were placed a live horse, a hatchet, a lance, and six arrows, all instruments of war. Then Captain Urrutia and the four chiefs, joining hands, danced three times around the hole, the Indians afterwards doing the same with the priests and the citizens. When this ceremony was concluded, all retired to their respective places. Then, upon a given signal, all rushed to the hole and rapidly buried the live horse, together with the weapons, thus signifying the end of war...' /// The stone is one of 30 embedded in the Plaza when it was revitalized in 2008. Never noticed it before. Now I’m all for 'burying the hatchet.' An American idiom, it means putting aside one’s grudges & making peace. As we approach a new year forgiveness is on my mind — a chance to reconcile broken relationships. So I mulled over the words on the plaque... The first thing that struck me was that it was only Apache weapons of war that were buried. I didn’t see any canons or muskets, weapons of choice of the Spanish conquerors. And I was skeptical about the happily-ever-after ending as well. The end of war? So I did a little research... /// According to the Texas Historical Commission: 'August 19: On this day in 1749, four Apache chiefs, accompanied by numerous followers, buried a hatchet along with other weapons in a peace ceremony in San Antonio. The ceremony signified the Apaches’ acceptance of Christian conversion in exchange for Spanish protection from Comanche raids, which had decimated the Apache population. Five years later [i.e. in 1754] Giraldo de Terreros [1699-1758] established San Lorenzo, the first formal mission for the Texas Apaches, in the jurisdiction of San Juan Bautista in Mexico. When the Apaches revolted & abandoned the mission less than a year later, the missionaries argued in favor of a new mission closer to Apache territory. Construction of the ill-fated mission of Santa Cruz de San Sabá, in the heart of Apachería, began in April 1757; on March 16 of the following year, a party of 2,000 Comanche & allied Indians killed eight of the inhabitants and burned the mission buildings.' This is a different story. Far from being an reconciliation among equals, this version paints the 'burying of the hatchet' as the subjugation of the Apaches. They sacrificed their freedom, their faith & their way of life in exchange for the Spanish protection from a mutual enemy. And it didn’t work. A year later they were at it again, a conflict that did not resolve itself for more than a hundred years. There is a lesson here, although I need to think a bit more before I know what it is. What do you think? Can you recall any recent events that follow this pattern of forced conversion in exchange for protection?" /// PS: Urrutia is a town in the Basque part of Spain, and many Spainards in the new world were named for the town. /// Information courtesy of Susan Ives.
2008-2011 - Monument to Humanity, Kars (Turkey). "For Naif Alibeyoglu, the former mayor of Kars whose idea it was, supposed to represent the victory of peace over enmity, its flood-lighting visible from neighbouring Armenia, 40 kilometres away. In Kars, opposition was led by Oktay Aktas, local head of the Nationalist Action Party, or MHP. “Why is one figure standing with its head bowed, as if ashamed," Aktas asks. Today, it stands unfinished. Its three-metre high hand, supposed to join the two figures, was never attached. It lies fingers up in the gravel in front. /// Reuters 12Jan 11: " The row centres on the prime minister's right to demand the removal of an artwork on aesthetic grounds. His comments come at a time when rapprochement between Muslim Turkey and Christian Armenia is at a standstill. Erdogan's comments have been seized on by Turkish nationalists who condemn the monument's message of understanding. A bid to normalise ties between neighbouring Turkey and Armenia suffered a blow last April when Yerevan froze ratification of a US-brokered peace accord. /// Armenian Weekly, March 11, 2011: "The demolition began on April 26 while Armenians worldwide commemorated the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. In the presence of riot police, the heads of the statues were dismounted & trucked away. Thus, a conciliatory symbol has itself become a target of intolerance - a fate sculptor Mehmet Aksoy has likened to the destruction of Buddhist relics by the Taliban."" /// This is "Monday's Monument" #84.
August 2, 2008 - Peace Cranes from Webb School Peace Project, photographed at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA). Just a few of the many peace cranes sent to the church immediately after a tragic shooting on July 27, 2008. Photo by EWL.
August 6, 2008 - "Stories of Hope," permanent exhibit at Peace Resource Center (PRC), Wilmington College of Ohio, Wilmington, Ohio (USA). Highlights four stories: PRC founder Barbara Leonard Reynolds [1915-1990], Sadako Sasaki [1943-1955], the Hiroshima Maidens, and Dr. Takashi Nagai [1908-1951], the first published writer of the A-Bomb experience. The PRC has "the world's largest collection (outside of Japan) of reference materials related to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Entry #820 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). One of 27 US museums in "Museums for Peace Worldwide" edited by Kazuyo Yamane (2008).
September 2008 - Place of Peace, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina (USA). "An authentic Japanese Place of Peace, the temple is part of a larger vision to create an Asian Studies Center at Furman which will further excel Furman into the nation's top Asian Studies programs." Gift of the Tsuzuki family of Nagoya (Japan).
September 15, 2008 - Tolerance Monument, Tolerance Park, Jerusalem (Israel). 15-meter monument "funded by Polish businessman Aleksander Gudzowaty as a symbol to promote peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Between Jewish Armon Hanatziv & Arab Jabal Mukaber and just outside the United Nations headquarters in Jerusalem's "Government House." Inscription says: "The monument is in the form of two halves of a broken column, which stand divided but still linked, on the ruins of a nameless and ageless temple. An olive tree grows in the middle of the split column and with its leaves seeks to encompass and shade both halves. The tree enables the two parts of the column to link together in symbolic coexistence. It cannot be known when the break will heal, when the two sides will grow back together but it can be seen that between the branches of the olive tree a new seed is sprouting, a golden grain of tolerance." /// This is "Monday's Monument" #39.
October 3, 2008 - Friedens-Ei / Peace Egg, Grossmünster place, Zurich (Switzerland). Made by Peace Brigades International (PBI). "The 2.5 meters wide and 80 kilo anniversary egg was at the University of Berne under the direction of Dr. Stefan Stankowski, professor of physics and director Fachschaftssitzung physics, science and research and Giorgio Insom, Researcher, University of Applied Sciences Berne planned and assembled. The interplay between technology and peace is unique and illustrates the fragility and vulnerability of human rights."
October 7, 2008 - Mayo Memorial Peace Park & Garden of Remembrance, Castlebar, County Mayo (Ireland). "Honours the memory of all those from Mayo, who served and died in all wars worldwide & conflicts of the past century, with the Allied & Commonwealth Forces, a forgotten generation who were written out of local history until recent times." Opened by the President of Ireland, Mary Mc Alesee.
October 6-10, 2008 - 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace, International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP), at the Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto University of Arts and Design, and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Conference theme: "Peace Museums as Spaces for Creating Peace." Click here for special interest group session list. Click here for the Report of the 6th International Conference. Conference logo (right image) adopted as the permanent logo of the INMP.
October 17, 2008 - World Poverty Stone, Custom House Quay, Docklands, Dublin (Ireland). East of the Famine Sculptures (qv). "Marks the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of World Poverty. This limestone memorial was commissioned as a gesture of solidarity with people living in poverty around the world." Related to the original 1987 Commemorative Stone at the Palais de Challot (qv) in Paris (France).
October 17, 2008 - Bernard Lown Peace Bridge, Lewiston, Maine (USA). "Honors Dr. Bernard Lown, a world-renowned cardiologist & peace activist. Born in Lithuania on June 7, 1921, Dr. Lown and his family emigrated to the USA in 1935 & settled in Lewiston, Maine. He pioneered numerous life-savings advances in cardiology, including the direct current defibrillator. A life-long peace activist and humanitarian, Dr. Lown founded Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in 1961, SatelLife, and ProCor. He co-founded International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in 1980 with Russian physician Dr. Evgueni Chazov. The two doctors received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 on behalf of IPPNW."
October 23, 2008 - "Peace," Mt. Evans Hospice & Home Health Care, Evergreen Parkway, Evergreen, Colorado (USA). "Chosen from 78 submissions, the piece by Lorri Acott-Fowler is a fourteen foot bronze figure, reaching up to the sky and releasing multi-colored origami folded cranes." Click here to see videio of the artist's dedication speech.
October 27 or 28, 2008 - Peres Peace House, Jaffa (Israel). "A magnificent building of huge green blocks, which cost $15 million, three times the original estimate. The building is windowless & air-conditioned throughout & blocked off from its surroundings, which are home to a poor Arab population. Its faces the sea, as though its builders were hinting that the chance for peace lies in the West, beyond the sea, & not in the East, where neighbor enemies dwell." Named for Shimon Peres and dedicated on the tenth anniversary of the Peres Center for Peace.
November 15, 2008 - Bell Tower, East Tennesse Veterans Memorial, World's Fair Park, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA) . 27-foot high. "On each of the four sides of the tower is inscribed one of the Four Essential Freedoms as enunciated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a speech to Congress on January 6, 1941 – freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear."
November 22, 2008 - Gong Perdamaian Dunia / World Peace Gong (WPG), Patuxay, Vientiane (Laos). From Indonesia.
November 23, 2008 - National Sikh Heritage Centre & Holocaust Museum, Princes Street, Pear Tree, Derby (England). "A modern, packed, multi-channel museum with real artefacts that allow the visitor to appreciate the rich and complex heritage of the Sikhs in a story of courage, sacrifice and bloody genocide." "One hopes we will see similar initiatives in the US and Canada as well."
December 6, 2008 - Plaque honoring Norman Angell, The Peace Museum, Bradford (England). Unveiled by the lord mayor of Bradford. Location #26 on the Bradford Peace Trail (qv). Sir Norman Angell [1872-1967] received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1933. Right image is Angell's birthplace at 45 High Street, Holbeach, Lincolnshire (now the Mansion House Hotel).
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