Peace and Disarmament
Millennium Peace Circle in Hawaii Commemorates SGI's Movement for Peace
On October 2, some 100 SGI-USA members and distinguished guests gathered at the foot of Diamond Head--Hawaii's famed volcanic crater--to open the Daisaku and Kaneko Ikeda Millennium Peace Circle.
The ceremony, which took place at the Le'ahi Millennium Peace Garden, commemorated the 50th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's first steps in Honolulu on October 2, 1960, the first of his worldwide journeys for peace.
SGI-USA member and Millennium Peace Circle project director Ray Boll gave opening words, followed by remarks from Le'ahi Garden Founder Sean Casey and Curt Cottrell, representing the Department of Land and Natural Resources State Parks Division.
Michael Nobel, chairman of the Nobel Charitable Trust Foundation, praised Mr. Ikeda's endeavors for peace and his efforts at dialogue and citizen diplomacy to improve relations between China and the former Soviet Union and between China and Japan.
SGI General Director Yoshitaka Oba quoted from Mr. Ikeda's 1995 address at the University of Hawaii's Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, East-West Center: "My earnest desire since my youth had been somehow to help bring forth a brilliant dawn of global peace from here in Hawaii, stage of the tragic outbreak of the Pacific War" (My Dear Friends in America, second edition, p. 359).
Mr. Oba expressed his wish that the Millennium Peace Circle serve as a source of inspiration for the entire world.
Surrounding the Peace Circle are seven monuments, each carrying a bronze plaque emblazoned with words from eminent peacemakers, including Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. In the center of the circle stands a young Kou tree.
The entrance of the Peace Circle bears the opening lines from Mr. Ikeda's novel The New Human Revolution: "Nothing is more precious than peace. Nothing brings more happiness. Peace is the most basic starting point for the advancement of humankind."
The Le'ahi Millennium Peace Garden was founded in 1999 as a place of peace where the community could gather and work to restore the landscape surrounding Diamond Head.
[Adapted from an article in the October 15, 2010, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photo courtesy of World Tribune]