The Cherokee Peace Pole provides a simple message, "May Peace Prevail on Earth." The Peace Pole reflects all of the world's major population groups, and represents the ethnic makeup of many of the people of Cherokee.
The phrase "May Peace Prevail on Earth," is translated in 12 languages on the pole, including English, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Indian, Gaelic and Lakota Sioux.
The suggestion of the Cherokee Peace Pole came from Sister Janice Hoffman of the Immaculate Conception Parish of Cherokee, who recommended to the Cherokee County Ministerial Association in the fall of 2008 that it consider a Peace Pole as a way for the Cherokee community to be part of global efforts toward peace related to The International Day of Peace, a day established by the United Nation's General Assembly for "commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people."
Rev. Magrey deVega of the St. Paul Untied Methodist Church in Cherokee, had been inspired by the Peace Pole at his home church in St. Petersburg, Fla. and remembered it as a way to connect the congregation with a witness for peace shared by communities near and far, agreed to co-chair the project.
The Peace Pole has its origins in Japan. Following WWII, Masahisa Goi, searched for a way to respond to the desperate cry for peace. He realized that the thoughts and actions of each and every individual influence the destiny of humanity as well as that of all creation on earth.
This was the beginning of the World Peace Prayer Society that he founded in 1955. The Peace Pole Project grew from this movement as a tangible way for people together to join in a network of peace consciousness that is emerging all over the world.
There are 200,000 peace poles around the globe on all continents. They are in simple places, such as churches and gardens, and extraordinary ones, such as the Pyramids of El Giza, Egypt and the Magnetic North Pole in Canada.
They are promoting healing of conflict in places like Sarajevo and the Allenby Bridge between Israel and Jordan.
Mayors in many parts of the world have plated Peace Poles to dedicate their cities and towns to world peace. Both political leaders, such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and religious leaders, such as Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama, have dedicated Peace Pole.
Accompanying the Peace Pole is a plaque on the east wall of the park that acknowledges the people and organizations responsible for the Peace Pole.
The committees made the Cherokee Peace Pole possible from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and St. Paul's United Methodist Church. Sister Janice Hoffman, Tom Selk, Ben Shuberg, Emily Shuberg, Jan McMurrin, Rosie De Young, and Narma Clark serve on the Immaculate Conception Committee. Rev. Magrey deVega, Jessica deVega, Jenny Burroughs, Linda Burkhart, and Marlene Kelly served on the St. Paul Untied Methodist Committee.
The Peace Pole Committee would like to thank Denny Holton from Holton Signs for designing the twelve plaques, donating the parts and labor, and expertly attaching them to the pole, and for creating the acknowledgement plaque. The committees also thanks Steve Thomas of R.J. Thomas Manufacturing for donating the pole. It is a statement of ecological responsibility, as it is made of 100% recycled materials. Depot Renovation Inc. and Cherokee Lumber also supported the concept and contributed additional resources for getting the project off the ground.
The committees also thanks Linda Burkhart and the Sanford Museum for arranging that the pole could be planted in such a beautiful space, and the Cherokee County Ministerial Association for approving and encouraging the project.
The committee also stated that they are most proud that this is a homegrown Peace Pole. It is not something that was ordered from a manufacturer and installed by a third party, but a total product of the community of Cherokee.