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Arnold Peace Pole Replaced

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Arnold-area residents are not giving up on peace just because some thug tore down their monument to global harmony.

The Arnold Rotary Club dedicated a second peace pole in White Pines Park on Saturday morning.

The first one, erected in September 2001, was cut down in July 2003. A suspect was never identified and the pole was not recovered. Bearing the message “May peace prevail on earth,” in four languages, the new 16-foot pole was put in place before a crowd of about 35 people in the park´s Rotary grove.

Some might have given up on the project in the face of such senseless destruction, but Rotary President Emmanuel Serrière said they could not do that. “Do you think some hoodlum´s going to deter our effort for peace in the world?” Serrière asked.

Ron Glass, who designed and carved both poles, shared those sentiments.

The first pole was reinforced with rebar at the base, so the vandal had to work his chainsaw up from the bottom before finding a place where he could cut through.

No new security precautions were taken. Glass pointed out they could erect a protected, concrete pole, but that would run contrary to the message.

“We´ll survive by attrition,” Glass said. “We´ll just keep putting them up.”

Glass, who owns The Lumber Mill Gallery in Murphys, carved the new pole from a single sugar pine with the help of his wife, Toni, and their children, Travis, Jaime and Shawn.

Children also played a role in setting up the new pole.

Serrière called on five girls who were there for the ceremony to help raise the pole in place.

Alexis Wiggins, and Madison, Sophie, Sydney and Hailey Nethery joined the Rotarians in lifting the obelisk while Glass and Dave Webb secured it to the base.

The crowd also observed the occasion with a prayer and by singing “Let There be Peace on Earth.”

Arvada Fisher, a representative from the local MiWok tribe, blessed the ground on which the pole stands, and told how her grandfather and grandmother, Manuel and Eva Jeff, used to explore the hills surrounding White Pines before there was even a lake there.

MiWok is one of the languages used on the peace pole, paying homage to the American Indians of the area.

In addition to English the pole promotes peace in Japanese, to honor the peace organization founded there after World War II, and Spanish, reflecting the area´s first European settlers.

The Peace Pole effort is an international project sponsored by Rotarians throughout the world. More than 200,000 poles have been erected.

In keeping with that spirit, Arvada Fisher asked the creator to bring peace to the human race.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Craig Koscho. For more Calaveras news, click: