From a particular vantage point, it seems as if Robert H. Jackson's outstretched hand is offering the city a new icon of non-violence and civic pride. The message is "May Peace Prevail on Earth."
Located in front of the S.G. Love elementary school, a peace pole now stands along Eighth Street under the shade of trees in full blossom and in proximity to the memorial for Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson.
Mayor Sam Teresi and city Director of Youth Services Vickye James were present Tuesday to dedicate the pole. The marker is a symbol for the city's stand against violence among young people.
At the dedication, from left: Richard Fleurant, president of Youth Services Board; Love Elementary School Principal Renee Hartling; Mayor Sam Teresi; intern Chelsey Becker; and Youth Services Director Vickye James.
P-J photo by Jason Rodriguez
It was donated to the city by Youth Services, and James said her department had assistance from intern Chelsey Becker, who is currently a senior at Jamestown High School. She contributed ideas that evolved into the march against school violence, which took place Saturday, and the peace pole memorial.
"It could happen at our schools, and I wanted to take a stand,'' Ms. Becker said.
The nonprofit World Peace Prayer Society started the Peace Pole Project in 1955. Since its founding in Japan, more than 200,000 peace poles have been displayed around the world in more than 180 countries.
"It's a symbol of peace - that we are not alone,'' Mrs. James said.
She explained the four languages which are posted across the sides were chosen to reflect the people of surrounding neighborhood. The repeated message is expressed in English, Spanish, Swahili - a language recognized across much of Africa - and Italian. Mrs. James said the limitation of four sides prevented the inclusion of other "native" Jamestown languages like Swedish, and added amusingly that Italian is as much a concession to the current mayor as it is to the original immigrant community.
Mrs. James and Teresi commented that the site is a good location for the marker. Renee Hartling, principal of Love school, said that the Robert H. Jackson statue has stood at the site prominently in an area routinely crowded with students, but without any noticeable vandalism. It appears that the peace pole's message of respect and nonviolence may be well received by the community.