Posted Date: 09/25/2023
United High School staff, students and representatives from Rotary Clubs gathered on Thursday, Sept. 21 to place a Peace Pole in front of the school in honor of International Day of Peace.
The tradition, which was founded in Japan over 50 years ago, has resulted in more than 250,000 Peace Poles in 200 countries, organizers said. The pole in front of UHS reads “May Peace Begin In Our Communities, Que La Paz Prevalezca En La Tierra.”
Rotary officials signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 21 as International Day of Peace at United High School, Area 12, and District 5930.
“International Day of Peace is important because of the world we live in right now,” said Rosa Salazar, World Geography teacher at United 9th Grade Campus.
“I think it’s important that our students bring peace to our community, not just the world,” Salazar said. “I think it’s important that the kids understand it’s a global celebration and even here in Laredo we are part of that, that global network of Peace Day.”
Students in geography classes are celebrating Peace Month by researching famous peacemakers, making posters and handing out flyers to parents to place on their dashboards.
The Thursday morning ceremony included representatives from five Rotary Clubs that are made up of about 300 people from across Laredo.
UHS Principal Jessica Salazar said in the welcoming remarks that the event was important.
“Today is International Day of Peace and a historic day in Laredo, Texas and at United High School as we partner with the five Rotary clubs of Laredo to plant a peace pole and to promote the concept of peace in our community, peace on our campuses and peace around the world,” she said. She added that the planting of the Peace Pole “will forever remind all who pass by that we are all united and we are promoting peace on earth and in our schools.”
Also present at the event was the Rotary 5930 District Governor Luis Cavazos, who represents 50 clubs throughout South Texas.
“Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people are united and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves,” Cavazos said during his speech.
“Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy and intelligence to take action on substantial projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end,” he said.
Students in the Interact Club spoke at the event as well. They said that Masahisa Goi in 1955 in Japan came up with the idea of the Peace Pole. Goi was a famous writer, philosopher and poet. They added that the Peace Poles represent Rotary’s promotion of peace throughout the community and world.
Diego Gorecki, an Interact Club leader, said that the event was important “because we were able to explore the world of peace through this monument.”
“Now, we are able to demonstrate and show it so all may know that this school represents peace and our morals,” he added.