What is a Peace Pole?

Peace Pole in Charleston, SC

A Peace Pole is usually a four-sided pole with the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in four languages, one on each side.

Thanks to the efforts of the Peace Pole Project, to date there are more than 200,000 Peace Poles planted in over 190 countries around the world, all serving as a reminder for us to visualize and pray for world peace.

The inspiration for this universal message and prayer for world peace came to Masahisa Goi of Japan, who wanted to make public statements about peace. After witnessing the devastation caused by World War II and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Mr. Goi dedicated himself to working for world peace.

Japan has an on-going tradition of vertical stones with text engraved in them. So when, in 1955, Mr. Goi wanted to make public statements about peace in Japan, that was the tradition he followed.

The first Peace Poles outside of Japan began to appear in towns and cities around the world in the early 1980’s. They now link each community with people all over the world who have also planted Peace Poles in the same spirit of peace.

Since 1990, the Columbia Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has held a memorial/vigil for the victims of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the purpose of nuclear deterrence and prevention. The Hiroshima Peace Vigil is held on August 6th, the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb.

This year the 26th annual event will include the planting of a Peace Pole on the grounds of the Columbia Friends Meetinghouse on Pisgah Church Road in Columbia. This will be the beginning of a project of the Columbia Friends to plant peace poles around the Midlands in the coming years.

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