Rotary Club leading the effort, Cavaliers seek community involvement.
If you had your pick of location, where in Crookston would you place the "Peace Pole"? Wildflower Park along old Highway 75? How about the natural space along the West Sixth Street curve? The Downtown Square, maybe?
Or maybe you have no idea where it could or should be placed because you have no idea what in the world a "Peace Pole" is.
According to Don and Mary Cavalier of the Crookston Rotary – Don is the Rotary district governor – a recent Rotary Club International president from Japan said the peace pole is considered an international symbol for peace, and that placing a peace pole in the ground provides a community the opportunity to show "goodwill to everyone" and stress the need to have "peace prevail on earth."
The Crookston Rotary was able to secure a peace pole from an individual in Detroit Lakes. It's six to eight feet tall, Mary Cavalier explained, and is a made of a material that looks like wood but is weather-proof.
It's about much more than simply mounting a pole in the ground, though, the Cavaliers explained. It's about getting the whole community involved, young and old, in a process that will lead up to a community celebration when the pole is mounted.
"People will write their ideas of what they think peace is, kids will draw pictures of what they think peace is, and at the celebration those words and drawings will be placed into the hollow portion of the peace pole," Mary Cavalier told the Crookston Park Board.
The Rotary Club would be in charge of the actual mounting, which would require cement being poured. But the club is reaching out to other service clubs such as the Lions or Kiwanis to see if there's an interest in purchasing benches or other amenities to enhance the peace pole experience, she said.
"We want it in a high-profile place, so it's seen by many, and where people can go and sit and meditate," Mary Cavalier said, adding that the goal would be to hold a dedication ceremony and celebration sometime in September, when UMC students are back in town after summer break.
Peace poles are pretty common, she said, but often people don't see them or know what they're looking at when they come across one. There's already one in Crookston, too, at the Mount St. Benedict, she said, but it's located indoors.
"We want to bring the community together to talk about peace," Don Cavalier said. A "Peace Forum" featuring several speakers will kick off the whole process at the Rotary's June 25 luncheon meeting at the American Legion, he added. "I think we really need a peace discussion in this community, and this pole might help get that started," he added.
The Cavaliers asked board members to take some time to think of locations they might think would be ideal for the pole.