Pete Seeger Peace Pole Dedication, March 15th, 2014, Newburgh, New York

On a cold and windy Ides of March on the banks of the Hudson River we gathered to remember peace activist and folk musician Pete Seeger. Pete Seeger spent his life speaking out for environmental causes, disarmament, civil rights and created the awareness and action that took a contaminated Hudson River and brought it back to become one of the cleanest major rivers in America.

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Pete was a longtime friend of The World Peace Prayer Society and was known to regularly stake ground with a group of fellow activists along Route 9 in Fishkill, NY. Holding signs and banners, Pete and his friends would bring attention to the worlds injustices to the drivers who passed by and Pete would always have a Peace Pole out there with them.

We have been fortunate to have had Pete lend his time and talents to our work over the years and we will be forever in his debt. Not just in his debt for his help in our mission to share the message of May Peace Prevail on Earth, but in his debt for the example he set for us all on this planet.

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Photo by: Dan Olson of Olson Antiques

When we gathered on March 15th we were there to dedicate a Peace Pole in Pete and his wife Toshi’s honor along with Hudson Valley residents, Reverend Sylvester McClearn who was a civil rights leader and Earth Day Founder John McConnell, who all passed away within the last year.

Jim Dugan from The World Peace Prayer Society led a World Peace Flag Ceremony as flags were held by members of Rotary International, The Salvation Army, local peace activists and members of the community. Jim also addressed the crowd about Pete Seeger and his work towards a more peaceful and cleaner planet. Jim spoke of how Pete’s work resonated and was aligned with the mission of The World Peace Prayer Society and the power of the spoken word as a tool for positive change.

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Photo by: Dan Olson of Olson Antiques

Douglas Martin of the Peace Bell Foundation led us with help of a half dozen volunteers in several beautiful peace songs with the music created only with hand held bells. We all ended the day by singing the civil rights anthem “If I Had a Hammer” that was written by Pete and Lee Hays back in 1949 and is known by almost every American and people around the world.

On behalf of the global staff of The World Peace Prayer Society, we deeply thank Pete Seeger for his lifelong work to create a better society and environment for each and every one of us and we shall all treasure the gifts he left us.

May Peace Prevail On Earth!

If you have news to share or have seen a Peace Pole during your travels or in your community, please send your stories and photos to: annmarie@worldpeace.org

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