On Friday, September 21, 2018 we celebrated the United Nations International Day Of Peace at our Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens. Staff, residents, and visitors gathered around the labyrinth at noon holding hands as we held for one minute of silence with a focus on peace. This minute of silence was held across the planet by individuals and groups choosing to focus on peace. At PAL&G, we were proud to participate in this global moment of peace. And what better place to do it than around our own Peace Labyrinth?
We had invited Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, to join us in celebrating this occasion. He was out of town and sent a representative, Daniel Tamm, who presented us with a certificate from the mayor himself. I was taken by surprise by how touching Mayor Garcetti’s words were. It gave me goosebumps. The certificate was a colorful and beautifully designed piece of art. This is what it said:
(This) Certificate of Appreciation is hereby presented to Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens on the International Day of Peace, 2018, in appreciation for all that you do for the development of inner peace, and nurturing attitudes that promote the expansion and integration of peaceful principles.
On behalf of the people of Los Angeles, I say, “Let Peace Begin With Me.” Eric Garcetti, Mayor
Afterward, we treated visitors with a delicious meal, including ice cream for dessert, which David Funk had lovingly prepared with the cooking team of Ned and Elizabeth. This was followed by a beautiful concert in the marbled Prana foyer, performed by Merrill Collins on piano and her ensemble of professional musicians – a cellist, flautist, and singer.
Before the concert, we were presented with another certificate. This time from the Mr. Herb Wesson, president of the LA City Council. Councilman Albert Lord came on Mr. Wesson’s behalf to present the award to us. Mr. Lord was touched by the concert and our facility. At the end of the program he left with a handful of John-Roger’s books and a special request to be included in our mailing list to let the City Council know of our upcoming events!
It was a beautiful and sacred day, coordinated with style by Sylvia Giussani and her dedicated and loving team of volunteers. We were all grateful to celebrate this day of peace. And it was a fulfillment of the vision that our administrator, Susan Valaskovic, has held that we would have an event that would include the community and local government.
PHOTOS: Taken by Stephen Sandorf and Vanessa Zoghbi
VIDEO: Daniel Tamm presents Mayor Garcetti’s certificate (video by Gaby Grigorescu):