Mayor Krupa dedicates Peace Pavilion to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
■ Kyle Selby / Reporter
This Memorial Day, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church held its very own Memorial Day observance, a time to “honor America’s finest.” Monday afternoon, the congregation, clergy and Hemet city officials helped dedicate a Peace Pavilion on the Prince of Peace campus.
“God gave human beings the ability to remember,” said Pastor Ron Ritter. “Today, we share in the collective memory of community, village, state, nation and culture.”
Prince of Peace celebrated this Memorial Day by erecting a Peace Pole in its courtyard; a universal symbol that is internationally recognized as an emblem of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, which stands in silent vigil for peace on earth.
“Today is a special day,” began Hemet Mayor Linda Krupa. “It’s not only a Memorial Day to remember those who have given their lives for freedom, but also to say ‘thank you’ to those who currently serve.
“’Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me,’” Krupa continued, quoting the Harry Connick Jr. song. “We all have our duty, and our charge – so let peace begin with us.”
Each Peace Pole bears the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different languages on each of its four sides. There are nearly 200,000 Peace Poles across the globe, in nearly every country worldwide.
“[As peacemakers], we stand in a gap between evil and good,” added Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown. “We’re privileged to serve, and to try to bring peace to our communities…I’m certainly honored to be a part of that group who call ourselves ‘peace officers’ in the United States of America.”
A bed of six peace roses surround the Peace Pole. Peace roses were introduced to America as the centerpiece on all of the tables at the organizational meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945, at the end of World War II.
Mayor Krupa and Chief Brown also presented the Republic of Korea Ambassador for Peace Medal to George Bruce Bradshaw, United States Air Force Veteran, as recognition for his service in the Korean War.
“It is a great honor and pleasure, to express the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea, and our people for the service you and your countrymen have performed in restoring and preserving our freedom and democracy,” read Chief Brown, as Mayor Krupa ceremoniously hung the Ambassador for Peace medal around Bradshaw’s neck. “We cherish in our hearts the memory of your boundless sacrifices, in helping us reestablish our free nation.” Bradshaw is just one of the few honored for his service during the Korean War. Last Veteran’s Day, six other recipients were also awarded the same medals at Prince of Peace from Mayor Krupa by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea. Krupa felt honored to present the medals, as one of her brothers fought in the Korean War.
During the special Memorial Day sermon, the congregation also recognized each of its veterans from each branch of the United States military, during a tribute to the armed forces.