The wish expressed in the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” takes visible form in a small park immediately west of the City Building, 204 W. 11th, Goodland. The lot contains a picnic table and a Peace Pole. The rectangular pole reads: “May Peace Prevail on Earth” and “May Peace Be in Our Homes and Communities”. Each message appears on two sides.
Community, peace project representatives join in peace pole ceremony
The World Peace Prayer Project came to Goodland (PDF) June 5, 1996, to install the pole. Project representatives were Masaya Otani and Hisamochi Miyata of Osaka, Japan, and Yoshinobu Takeda of Berkley, Calif.
A ceremony was held at 10 a.m. Then-Goodland mayor John Golden read a proclamation on behalf of the Goodland City Commissioners and City Manager Ron Pickman. After reading the proclamation, Golden welcomed the project representatives. He said, “I think it especially unique that you’ve come to the center of the world, Goodland, Kansas.”
The Peace Project delegation responded: “We are very honored you are accepting the Peace Pole, especially since the center of the world is Goodland.”
Before placing the pole in the ground, the group placed notes and prayers into the Peace Pole. Then those present arranged the dirt around the pole.
Peace Poles spread throughout the world
At the time of the Goodland installation, more than 100,000 peace poles had been installed in 160 countries. More than 5,000 of them were in the United States. In 1996, the organization donated 720 peace poles to sites in North America. Goodland was the sixth location of eight in Kansas. According to the most recent information available, people around the world have installed over 200,000 peace poles in 191 countries.
The project is a non-governmental organization recognized by the United Nations. The project was an inspiration of Masahisa Goi of Japan. According to the project website, “In a moment of great inspiration and deep prayer, Mr. Goi awakened to the need to spread this [peace] Message and Prayer in the hearts of the global community for the attainment of inner and outer peace.” His inspiration struck in 1955. Placing peace poles around the world began in 1976.
Visit the pole in its park during daylight hours.by