On Friday, September 20, 2013, at 1:00 PM, the Williams Post Office, located at 801 E Street, unveiled a Peace Pole in honor of PFC Rueben “Boy” Lopez who was killed in combat during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Joining Williams Postmaster Cynthia Jones was Lopez’s mother Gloria Estrada and her four daughters. Ms. Estrada and her daughters will unveil the Peace Poll, which was purchased by the Williams Post Office, in a community ceremony in front of the Post Office.
Guest speakers included: Williams Mayor, Patricia Ash; and U.S. Army Captain Renee Marie.
The Williams Fire Department raised a flag in a symbolic gesture for those who have fallen during service to the country.
Peace Poles are monument displays that are inscribed with the message “May peace Prevail on Earth” in the languages where it has been placed, with three to five additional translations.
Peace Poles began in 1955 in Japan by Masahisa Goi. Today, the Peace Pole Project is continued through the World Peace Prayer Society. Since 1983, more than 200,000 peace poles in 180 countries all over the world dedicated as monuments to peace.
Peace Poles have been placed in notable locations as the Hiroshima peace memorial, the site of the Egyptian Pyramids in Giza, as well in numerous community parks and private land. Frequently the poles are installed near the entrances of churches or schools.
Locally there are five peace poles that are installed at the Arbuckle Elementary School, Burchfield Elementary School, Williams Elementary School, and the Williams Post Office; additionally Estrada, had a pole installed at her personal residence.
The Lopez Family has assisted with the installation of the Peace Poles around the Community; honoring their beloved son and brother; in addition, to immortalizing the lives of the men and women who fought for our nations freedom and fought for peace in the world.
Jones read from a selected poem, in part that reads, “so as long as we are alive; we will hold them in our hearts and as long as we can breathe our heroes will never be apart.”
Mayor Pat Ash issued the following statement, “It is time to let go of the hate – it’s time to start peace.”
After reciting the poem “Let There Be Peace on Earth”, Ash asked everyone to turn to their neighbor and issue the sentiment ‘may peace be with you’.
U.S. Army Captain Renee Marie shared a story of a young boy who recently walked into a police station in Greenfield Wisconsin and donated his summer earnings of $10.03. The 11-year old boy donated his funds in memory of his late grandfather who was killed in the line of duty in 1974.
“These are good stories,” said Marie, “These are the stories that show what we are made of.”
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to Cindy Jones, and her boss, for allowing the installation of this peace pole,” said Marie, “It was no easy task to get this approved.”
“May peace prevail on earth.” said Marie.
Gloria Estrada, mother of Ruben ‘Boy’ Lopez was overwhelmed with emotion over the large attendance for the event. “I am so glad to see so many people here, Thank You!”