My first post about the Garden of Peace contains information, observations, and images based on several visits to the garden and its continually valuable website. That post in July led me to a generous tour there in August with board member Judit Vajda and the garden’s designer Catherine Melina. Together they animated and deepened my awareness of their garden’s history, presence, present, and future.
So with irreversible emotional engagement, I returned on the evening of September 14 for the thirteenth annual Honor Program, which recognizes the newly engraved names of victims of homicide.
I moved among people placing stones, flowers, and lights. I joined with others for speeches and powerful singing until a sudden thunderstorm forced the outdoor ceremony to end.
Some Moments in the Honor Program, September 14, 2017
All speakers and singers brought home to me the distinction of a memorial that must include new names each year. Each name adds someone who was lost to homicide, with brutal impact on the many still alive. Unlike memorials to a fixed list of those who died in a specific war or another horrific event, this one remains realistically open to a growing list while ideally committed to overcoming violence. That is an impressive mission!
Thunderstorm in the Garden of Peace
The invitation did say “Rain or Shine,” and the rush of rain allowed the names in stone to shine.
Captions of the five photos are quoted from the text above the list of 38 names added to the Garden for 2017.
This is a September sequel to my July post about the Garden of Peace. Please see that for background, resources, and context: GARDEN OF PEACE, A PLACE FOR GRIEF AND HOPE