Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead
Planting a Peace Pole is a way of bringing people together to inspire, awaken and uplift the human consciousness. Peace Poles are now recognized as the most prominent international symbol and monument to peace. They remind us to think, speak and act in the spirit of peace and harmony, standing as a silent visual for peace to prevail on earth.
The Peace Poles dedicated at the Main Building and Carnegie Building of the Patchogue-Medford Library are the first to be planted as a part of The Long Island Peace Pole Project. The goal of this project, spearheaded by Pax Christi Long Island and the Rotary Clubs of Long Island, is the planting of 100 Peace Poles in 2020-2021, with the involvement of youth groups, and the creation of International Cities of Peace on Long Island. The Library, local schools, youth groups, places of worship, and other civic organizations, including a newly created “Patchogue Peace Committee,” are working toward having Patchogue be the first community on Long Island to be recognized as an International City of Peace.
Legislator Rob Calarco has been instrumental in getting this project underway. “The symbol of the peace pole has inspired people all over the globe to become peace activists. Here in Patchogue I know this pole will serve to unite our community by inspiring us to become understanding of our differences, and united in our mission of peace. Thank you to all those who have worked so diligently to bring this beautiful project to life,” said Legislator Calarco.
When speaking with Joselo Lucero, brother of Marcelo Lucero, he expressed that we all have an individual role to play in encouraging peace. He explained that peace is like building a house; piece by piece. You can see the results brick by brick but it takes time. If you stand back and look, you can see the bigger picture, “peace by peace”. Joselo urges people to come together so that a tragedy, like his brother’s death, never happens again. The peace pole at the Carnegie will serve as a reminder of this message.
Marcelo Lucero was a 37-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant who had lived in Patchogue for 15 years working various jobs to send money home to his mother and sister in Gualaceo, Ecuador. He planned to return to Gualaceo to be with his family. However, he was murdered in Patchogue in 2008 by a group of 7 teens in what was determined to be a hate crime.
In the years since Marcelo’s death, his brother Joselo has worked with students and community groups to share his personal story and educate them about the dangers of intolerance toward immigrants. We dedicate this peace pole to the memory of Marcelo Lucero and to all victims of racial violence. Let us work together toward peace, harmony and unity for all.
Nina Uchida Friedberg
Nina Friedberg was born in Brooklyn. NY, on June 27, 1924. She earned a Bachelors of Nursing degree and worked for many years as a Public Health Nurse. In her 40s, while a single mother of three, she returned to school to get her Masters in Special Education from NYU and taught in the Commack School District until her retirement. As a 40 year resident of Patchogue and Brookhaven NY she was a former president of the Unitarian Fellowship of Bellport, member of the South Country Peace Group, served as the Social Action Chair of the UUFB, was a committed participant in Women in Black of Sayville and Bellport NY, was a former Board Member of the Bellport Hagerman East Patchogue Alliance and volunteered at the Patchogue-Medford Library.
She was a staunch and spirited advocate for peace and justice throughout her life and was always willing to debate heartily on those subjects she held close to her heart. Her passion and willful spirit is missed by both her family and her community.
The Peace Pole Project is made possible, in part, through donations to the Library in Nina’s memory.