The Future Is Now
World Peace Meditation

• 1988 community wide interfaith prayer & meditation •

poster from the
01989 Celebration.

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Never too early for peace

Celebration sets goal for 2000

Hundreds of persons gathered Saturday at Municipal Auditorium to sing, dance and meditate - all before dawn.

The third annual World Peace Celebraton was Kansas City's effort to spend an hour beginning at 6 am with millions worldwide who have the same vision, organizers said. Persons began arriving at the event at 5:30 am.

The celebration, entitled Countdown 13, was the third year of a 15-year commitment to the end of the year 2000, by which time participants hope to achieve world peace.

“We are like a bed of flowers, all different colors, all different sizes,” guest speaker Chief Jake Swamp, a Mohawk Indian, told the crowd, ”Yet we are able to say we are one of a kind when it comes to global peace.”

Swamp came to Kansas City from Montreal, Canada, primarily to plant a ceremonial peace tree at Kansas City International Airport following the celebration. He said he hoped the tree will encourage Kansas City to plant a heart-shaped forest as a symbol of the city as the heart of America and as a city with a global heart.

1988 WPC, Center Circle

T'ai Chi Chuan dancers began the celebration with an oriental dance, building a meditative atmosphere as lights in the auditorium were dimmed.

The Circle of Hearts Mass Choir sang ”Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand” and “What the World Needs Now” as representatives from 12 religions joined hands around a world map in the center of the floor. The circle grew as other participants joined hands with those in costume.

“We've come to join hands, forces and energy to promote peace,” said Joanne Collins, master of ceremonies and member of the Kansas City Council.

The event was organized by The Future Is Now, a Kansas City group that seeks to promote peace.

Outside the auditorium evergreen seedlings were handed to participants as a symbol of the heart-shaped forest mentioned by Swamp. The auditorium was decorated inside with colorful peace banners created by various religions and organizations.

The decorations included some of the original peace ribbons that were wrapped around the Pentagon to the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol in an August 1985 peace celebration. The ribbons displayed Saturday were made in Kansas.

“It's great to end the year and start a new year with concern not only for ourselves but for the entire globe,” Titus Jayasekara, a participant who moved to Kansas City from Malaysia six months ago.


Peace Tree Planting, Jake Swamp
Chief Jake Swamp, center, peace advocate and chief of the Mohawk Indians, is surrounded by children during the World Peace Celebrations ceremonial tree planting Saturday near Kansas City International Airport. The pin oak, donated by the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, was placed in a site donated by the city Aviation Department, which will maintain the tree.

based on info from the KCStar

Frank Szasz portrait of Jake Swamp

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