“Take a step for peace.”
That’s the message the National Peace Run organizers are hoping people will heed when the world’s largest and longest torch relay comes here June 2.
The ceremony for the inspirational event will start at 9 a.m. in front of the Civic Centre, when Mayor Glenn Witherspoon welcomes the run into town.
The purpose of the Peace Run, known in full as the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run since 1987, is to promote peace by offering hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world take part in a common event—holding a symbolic torch.
Local runners, organized by Doris Barton, are going to be running the torch from the Crozier Warehouse to the town hall, and then out of the east end of town after the ceremony. Runners will meet at 8:30 a.m.
Anyone wanting to run with the group can leave a message for Barton at 274-7747.
“We also want people in general to come out, and feel as if we’re all brothers and sisters,” said Sanchita Fleming of the National Peace Run office in Ottawa. At the welcoming ceremony, everyone will get a chance to hold the torch and pass it from hand to hand.
Banners, posters, and poetry on peace can be brought to the ceremony and will be taken along with the Peace Run crew to be displayed on Parliament Hill when the torch arrives in Ottawa later this year, noted Fleming.
The torch arriving here will be one of hundreds circling the globe this year. The most recent Canadian run began in Vancouver last weekend. The torch being passed on here will be in Kenora on June 1, continue on to Thunder Bay after coming through here, and then on to Wawa and Marathon on June 3.
To date, over 3.5 million people in over 126 countries have participated in the run. While in Ottawa on April 25, His Royal Highness Prince Charles held the torch. Other celebrities to do so have included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paul McCartney, Pope John Paul II, and the New York Mets.
Sri Chinmoy is a promoter of peace who has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Originally from India, Chinmoy has since lived in New York work with the United Nations.