Thursday, April 3, 2003

2003 Peace Garden Dedication in Rome

Washington, DC-April 3rd, 2003. The 2003 International Peace Garden will be dedicated in Rome, Italy in front of the Coliseum during a gala ceremony hosted by Mayor Veltroni on Friday, April 4th, 2003.

Rome is being honored for its commitment to promoting peace among nations and democracy for their peoples. The dedication, with reception to follow, will be attended by city officials, members of the diplomatic corps and other distinguished guests.

Each year the Foundation coordinates the passing of a Peace Garden to a capital city, guided by a nomination put forth by the preceding year’s recipient. The 2002 Peace Garden was dedicated in Vienna, Austria, the 2001 Peace Garden was dedicated in Hiroshima, Japan (nominated by The Hague in 2000). Although not a capital city, Hiroshima was selected for the special role they play in promoting global peace.

The City of Vienna is honored to nominate Rome in recognition of the long-standing peaceful relationship between Austria and Italy, having shared a friendly, undefended border for over 50 years. Austria recognizes that since joining the United Nations in 1955, Italy has become one of the top three contributors of personnel and resources to international peace operations. Italy has been an active member of the European Union since its Union since its inception working to create a “new” Europe with strong bonds and peaceful coexistence between countries in the region.

International Peace Garden Foundation President Paula Savage states, “As we dedicate Italy’s Peace Garden on April 4, 2003, (awarded to Rome by Vienna, Austria) we do so that through greater understanding of our oneness with each other, a new era of peace on earth shall come to pass.” Canada initiated the dedication of the first Peace Garden, which is now making its way around the world in a multi-cultural chain of global friendship. At each Peace Garden a permanent stone marker is placed which is written the message “Let the seeds of peace begin here and spread throughout the world.” It is a constant reminder to every individual who enjoys a moment of reflection of the powerful impact such a simple gesture of friendship plays in promoting peace.

At the April 4th ceremony, the City of Rome will pass the Peace Garden to the 2004 recipient, the City of Athens, Greece. The ties between these two countries date back to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Their contributions to culture and the arts are unparalleled in this world. As host to the 2004 Olympic games Athens, Greece promises to emphasize culture, history and ethical values toward world peace and reconciliation.

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