New Richmond declares peaceNew Richmond was declared one of the bravest cities in the county on Friday, Sept. 21, and it’s all because of an Eagle Scout project.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
New Richmond was declared one of the bravest cities in the county on Friday, Sept. 21, and it’s all because of an Eagle Scout project.
Eric Lusardi, a sophomore at New Richmond High School, set out to install a peace garden and peace pole at the Community Commons (formerly New Richmond Middle School) as a way to bring the community together and inspire more peace in the world.
According to Melvin Giles, a representative of World Citizen Inc., non-profit organization whose mission is to support peace education and the concept of world citizenship, New Richmond is one of only two cities in the United States to install a peace pole.
“Many people, many stations, consider this (peace pole) a sign of weakness instead of seeing it as something more powerful,” Giles said. “You are way ahead of your time. New Richmond, you are part of something new, 21st Century stuff.”
On Friday, Sept. 21, the garden and peace pole were dedicated and Mayor Fred Horne read New Richmond’s International Day of Peace proclamation.
The proclamation encourages the commemorating and strengthening of the ideal of peace within the nations and peoples of all nations.
Mark Lusardi, Eric’s father, said Eric thought long and hard about the project.
“He thought because of the food shelf and all the other activities — the VFW and seniors... and all that stuff in the center that this was the place to be,” he said.
The peace pole itself was built by several of Mark Lusardi’s friends, he said. The phrase “May Peace prevail on Earth” is written on the pole in four different languages — English, Japanese (because that’s where the idea of peace poles began), Spanish and Ojibwe (for the native tribes of western Wisconsin).
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, who was in attendance along with Rep. John Murtha, said she thought Eric Lusardi did a great job on his project and that it was something special for the community.
Dave Green, commander of New Richmond’s VFW, said the Boy Scouts are the next men in uniform and that he’s proud of what Eric Lusardi has accomplished with his Eagle Scout project.
During the dedication, Giles had Eric Lusardi and other children in the audience blow bubbles.
“I like bubbles instead of bullets,” he said. “And I think we, as people, need to take ourselves a lot more lightly. I really believe angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”
Giles encouraged the community to stop by the Community Commons from time-to-time to touch the peace pole to help energize it.
After the dedication ceremony, Lusardi was awarded the title of Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve.