Beaverton is dedicating two peace poles, one outside City Hall and one at City Park, during a 10-day celebration of the contributions of immigrants to the community.
"The Peace Pole is a symbol of our commitment to inclusion as well as world peace," Mayor Denny Doyle said during a ceremony Wednesday for the City Hall pole.
The second pole will be dedicated Sunday during a picnic and Salsa in the Park event that will conclude Welcoming Week, part of a national celebration that Beaverton has taken part in for five years. The event is from 2 to 7 p.m. at Beaverton City Park, 12500 S.W. 4th St. Beverages and cookies are free; entertainment will be by the Portland Peace Choir, Beaverton Song Circle and Bajo Salario.
Each pole has "may peace prevail on earth" inscribed in eight languages. English and Spanish are common to both poles. The other languages are symbolic of the more than 100 spoken in households within the Beaverton School District, which has three times the population of the city itself.
Doyle tied the City Hall pole dedication to Welcoming Week.
"It's a simple message, and a profound one," he said.
"It is a fitting theme as we are in the midst of our celebration of Welcoming Week and the diversity of the communities that make up the city of Beaverton. It is our fifth annual series of events that let people know we are better and stronger because we come from all over the world."
According to U.S. Census data, one in three Beaverton residents is a person of color — and one in five was born outside the United States.
Speakers at the City Hall ceremony uttered "may peace prevail on earth" in Armenian, French, Ibo (spoken in Nigeria), Korean, Malayalam (spoken in the Indian state of Kerala), Russian, Spanish, Tagalog (spoken in the Philippines), and Mandarin, Cantonese and Hainanese Chinese.
Pole sponsors are Westside UltraViolet, a women's advocacy group; Rotary Club of Beaverton, and the Central Beaverton Neighborhood Association Committee. Buzz Marron, representing Rotary, said the Jubitz Family Foundation contributed $100 for each pole sponsored by Rotary.
"This is a powerful symbolic gesture," said Maureen Wheeler, who also represented Rotary.
Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss of Westside UltraViolet recited the prayer for peace by Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian apostle of nonviolence.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of "Let There Be Peace on Earth," accompanied by Hal Davis.
The City Hall pole is next to the U.S. flagpole at the plaza, and just a few steps away from the pole and ground-level monuments honoring the six sister cities of Beaverton. The cities are Birobidjan, Russia; Cheonan, South Korea; Cluses, France; Gotemba, Japan; Hsingchu, Taiwan, and Trossingen, Germany.
"We have a reminder of how big the world is and how much we need to keep praying for peace," Doyle said.
The City Hall pole has "May peace prevail on earth" inscribed in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Tagalog.
The Hall Boulevard/City Park pole has inscriptions in English, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Somali, Tamil, Telugu and Vietnamese. Hindi, Tamil and Telugu are spoken in India.
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