My Turn: Peace Pole evolving

Published 12:01 am Monday, May 25, 2015

By Betty Jo Hardy

Pass the peace. Pass the Peace Pole. Pass the Peace Pole forward.

It is a new evolution of the Rowan County Peace Poles. Last Saturday in East Spencer in a beautiful, little known space, Royal Giants Park, the mayor of Granite Quarry, Bill Feather, passed the Peace Pole forward, and the mayor of East Spencer, Barbara Mallett, received it with gratitude and pride.

Spencer Mayor Jody Everhart was present to witness this gesture of good will. Mayor Mallett hopes to continue the process by passing the Peace Pole forward to the town of Spencer. All three of the mayors participated in the Circle of Prayer as the pole was dedicated. They, along with persons of diverse faith, pastors of churches of Spencer and East Spencer and others, prayed for peace in our homes, streets, schools and communities.

Other elected officials taking part in the celebration were Salisbury Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell and Rowan County Commissioners Jim Greene and Judy Klusman. Vice Chair Greene presented a proclamation declaring May 16 Let’s Get Connected Day in Rowan County.  Klusman joined the others in lifting prayers for the harmony and peace of all our citizens.

One of the highlights of the program was hearing some oral history of the Royal Giants baseball team. Lawson Garrison and Albert Stout Jr. gave personal accounts of the team in all its glory. It was easy to imagine the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd as they told the story of a team integral to the history of East Spencer. We still have so much to learn about each other in this community.

It was also easy to imagine the Native American Indians who inhibited this space before any of us, the great respect they had for the land and waters that supported their life, as Chief Holy Eagle, the Rev. Fleming Otey, led the blessing of the four corners. The young mime group, dancers, and singers from the community thrilled our hearts, gave us hope for a better future. The singers from Southern City A.M.E. Zion sang an inspired version of the Lord’s Prayer a cappella. The crowd sang together, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” You could feel the hopes rise from every heart.

What is more American than enjoying a hotdog at a ball park? It was all part of the cooperative spirit of the day, thanks to the Workers of the Vineyard and the Faith Temple Triumphant Ministries for cooking and serving the food. Thanks to Food Lion, F&M Bank, Cheerwine and Frito Lay for making it happen one more time, Let’s Get Connected Day 2015. May peace prevail on Earth!

Is it possible to create a culture of peace? We will never know unless we try. Sometimes the headlines of the news bring tears to our eyes and then we remember that sometimes we do experience something in this community that resonates within us as true and right and good.

Betty Jo Hardy lives in Salisbury and is a member of  the  Covenant Community Connection.

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