By Father Derek Simons SVD
Twelve awardees will plant a peace pole on the Techny Towers grounds in Northbrook during BridgeBuilder Awards celebration on April 9.
These 12 high school students come from diverse schools across Chicago’s northern suburbs. School administrators and staff nominated them for being young leaders who are making a difference and building bridges of hope and understanding. Students and guests will take part in a peace pole ceremony following an awards luncheon.
The peace pole that will be planted on April 9 is a handcrafted wooden monument that displays the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth." It bears the message to visualize, pray and work for peace in eight languages—English, Polish, Mandarin, Swahili, French, Indonesian, Tagalog and Hindi.
BridgeBuilders Award organizers point out that there are tens of thousands of peace poles in more than 200 countries around the world. Some of the extraordinary locations where peace poles have been erected include the Magnetic North Pole in Canada; the Confucius burial site in Taiwan; the Pyramids in Egypt; Robben Island in South Africa; the Jordan River in Israel; and the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.
"Our BridgeBuilder awardees already live out a passion for peacemaking in their daily lives and in their dreams and deeds," organizers said. "In a world that often seems to be filled with polarization, division and exclusion the BridgeBuilder event celebrates the shining light of hope and possibility in human beings.
"It echoes these words from Pope Francis: ‘In a world where everything pushes towards fragmentation, opposition and division, it’s more than ever necessary that religions and persons who hope for peace, brotherhood and solidarity mobilize together on common projects."
More information about the BridgeBuilder event and photos go to: www.BridgeBuilderAwards.com