Greg Asimakoupoulos and Bob Howell from Covenant Shores lead a ceremony to dedicate Mercer Island’s newest peace pole on Jan. 18. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Greg Asimakoupoulos and Bob Howell from Covenant Shores lead a ceremony to dedicate Mercer Island’s newest peace pole on Jan. 18. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mercer Island’s newest peace pole unveiled at Covenant Shores

The pole is placed near the campus sign, which is the first mile marker of the Rotary Half Marathon.

Covenant Shores unveiled its new “peace pole” on Jan. 18 with a singalong and ceremony attended by more than 50 people.

The Mercer Island retirement community installed the “monument to peace” as part of the local Rotary Club’s peace pole project. Poles already have been placed at the Stroum Jewish Community Center, Rotary Park, City Hall and the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.

A peace pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the message and prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” on each of its four or six sides, usually in different languages.

There are tens of thousands of peace poles in 180 countries throughout the world, Rotary’s Jennifer Sells told the Reporter in previous coverage.

“They serve as constant reminders for us to visualize and pray for world peace,” she said. “When you plant a peace pole in your community, you are linking with people all over the world who have planted peace poles in the same spirit of peace.”

Covenant Shores hopes its pole will be a symbolic representation of its values.

“Let [peace] begin with us individually, taking the first step, of tearing down walls, building bridges, creating opportunities for dialogue and understanding,” said Covenant Shores Chaplain the Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos.

Covenant Shores director Bob Howell said celebration for the peace pole, in conjunction with the community’s recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, represent the “diversity and peace we want to see come to our community, our country and to our world.”

Asimakoupoulos and Howell are also members of the Mercer Island Rotary Club, and “feel doubly connected to this project.”

“What is significant to me is that where the pole is placed is at mile marker one of the 13-mile Rotary Half Marathon, and that’s really cool,” Asimakoupoulos said.

Each pole stands approximately 6 feet high, and contains eight languages in the engraving. Covenant Shores chose English, Spanish, Norwegian, French, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek and Swedish.

“They reflect representatives of our residential community and our Island,” Asimakoupoulos said.

Rotary is planning to raise more poles around the Island, as funding allows. The goal is to have a total of 30, and to have a “March for Peace” when all are installed.

See www.mirotary.org for more information.

Mercer Island resident Kathy Finn places a hand on the peace pole at Covenant Shores on Jan. 18. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mercer Island resident Kathy Finn places a hand on the peace pole at Covenant Shores on Jan. 18. Katie Metzger/staff photo

A crowd gathers at Covenant Shores on Mercer Island to unveil a peace pole, installed as part of an effort by the local Rotary Club. Katie Metzger/staff photo

A crowd gathers at Covenant Shores on Mercer Island to unveil a peace pole, installed as part of an effort by the local Rotary Club. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Covenant Shores residents sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” after the unveiling of their community’s new peace pole. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Covenant Shores residents sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” after the unveiling of their community’s new peace pole. Katie Metzger/staff photo

The peace pole is unveiled at Covenant Shores on Mercer Island on Jan. 18. Katie Metzger/staff photo

The peace pole is unveiled at Covenant Shores on Mercer Island on Jan. 18. Katie Metzger/staff photo

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