Since 2006, a Peace Pole has stood at one corner of a small triangular park in the City of Sheboygan WI near the Lake Michigan shore. Sheboygan's Peace Pole is modeled after the original one that was planted near Hiroshima, Japan. The octagonal pole features the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in 16 languages.
Sheboygan's Peace Pole was planted through the efforts of Larry MacDonald and the Sheboygan Chapter (114) of Veterans for Peace. Larry was a founding member of the chapter. He was a Korean War vet and following his tour in the service, worked for the UN and traveled to many different countries. His service, his work and his travels convinced him of the need and the possibility for peace in our world. When he returned home to Sheboygan, he began working at the local level to bring that peace about.
Larry believed that it was through interpersonal connections that peace could be achieved. He was fond of saying "The road to world peace begins where Sheboygan's 4th of July parade ends." That is at the corner of the park where the Peace Pole now stands.
FRIENDS OF PEACE PARK SHEBOYGAN
In 2015, members of Sheboygan's Vets for Peace began to discuss more ways of enhancing the park, raising awareness and promoting peace. They reached out to community organizers, friends, neighbors and peace-minded citizens and invited them to gather to talk about ways to promote peace and the park. Our group Friends of Peace Park Sheboygan came into existence near the end of that year. Our mission: to inspire a more peaceful world through the development and beautification of Sheboygan Peace Park.
In 2016, while working on determining the organizational structure of the group, writing by-laws and exploring various ideas to incorporate at the park, the group also set about to make the Peace Pole more noticed and noticeable.
One snowy day in January, some members built a ring of snowmen around the Peace Pole. It captured the attention of the local newspaper, The Sheboygan Press, and a photo was published.
Larry MacDonald had another saying he liked to share - Peace is possible. We were beginning to think that maybe our goals for Sheboygan's Peace Park were also possible.
This first phase of our overall plan included a new larger paved patio around the Peace Pole, a smaller paved patio around a "hydration station" (a drinking fountain for people and dogs) and a paved path between the patios. The patio and paths are made using paver blocks which can be purchased and custom engraved according to the purchaser's directions.
A granite/gravel path outlines the perimeter of the Sister City Peace Gardens in honor of Sheboygan and her Sister Cities: Tsubame, Japan and Esslingen, Germany.
If anything in our small park speaks to the power and the possibility of peace in our world, it is the these gardens. Germany and Japan were enemies of the US in World War II but now they are our allies. Peace IS possible.
Over 2600 years ago, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote the following:
There is and always has been a need for peace in our world.
We realize that one small park in one small city in Wisconsin will not bring about world peace, but, if by being at that park and feeling peace in our hearts, we carry that peace back to our families and our neighbors, then peace IS possible.
We contend that visiting the park and lingering for a time amidst its calm beauty, visitors will leave refreshed and empowered to reengage with their lives and to face again the challenges that await them.
Now we have plans to begin Phase Two. Your donation can help. For more details, please check out the "OUR PROJECT " tab above and the "FEATURED CAMPAIGN" on this website. Please check out our "GALLERY" for more photos of the park.