The Words of the Tardy Family
On July 4th, 2009, the 233rd anniversary of the U.S. Independence Day, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, together with his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, joined together with over 1,200 guests in New York City to “Celebrate America’s Independence Day: The USA and Future Direction of the United Nations and the World.”
Reverend Moon began to speak to his well-awaiting audience, which included members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Ambassadors for Peace, visiting clergy, and representatives of the UN community, promptly at 5 am in “The Grand” Ballroom of New York City’s Manhattan Center. With attendees in awe of Reverend Moon unexpectedly speaking to them in English during the beginning portion of his extraordinary four-hour speech, he explained that he was not originally planning to come to New York but felt a heart of passion for America and the need to speak to his American followers and friends on this day.
As a 90-year-old gentleman who came to the United States for the first time over 30 years ago, Reverend Moon displayed an energy and passion for what he feels Americans can create for God together with the world that was astonishing and unrelenting. "A new era is beginning in which the Kingdom of Heaven is spreading out before your very eyes,” he said. “Time is running out, and we have only a short time to achieve our goals,” he explained.
Reverend Moon, an ardent advocate for peace, has often challenged both the United States and the United Nations to live up to their founding ideals. He has called for America to renew its founding spirit rooted in its covenant with God, and for the United Nations to actively engage faith leaders in the work for peace. His speech concluded with a ceremony in which representatives of the USA and the UN community exchanged replicas of the bells of their respective institutions. This exchange symbolized that now is the time for the US and UN to come together in cooperative effort for freedom and peace. At the conclusion Reverend Moon rang a new bell much like America’s Liberty Bell, ringing in the new era for building a world of lasting peace.
Following this event was a marvelous entertainment celebration. With Reverend Moon and family members in the audience, extraordinary performers such as the New Hope Singers International choir brilliantly sang harmonious renditions of “America the Beautiful,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America,” and “Hosanna.” Three of Reverend Moon’s own grandchildren also served as entertainers. Ariana Shin-Sun Moon, 18, overtook the audience as she played her Chopin “Nocturne” piano piece with exquisite skill, and her two younger brothers Truston Shin-Yul Moon, 16, and Paxton Shin-Pyung Moon, 12, joined in playing the guitar for two songs of the top-notch Lovin’ Life Ministries band performance.
Performers flew in from around the world in order to perform on this occasion, including Ben Lorentzen and Il-Hwa Gallo, who mesmerized the audience with their voices. Much laughter was also shared as the audience experienced a rap parody performance and dance by staff of the Lovin’ Life Ministries, together with another of Reverend Moon’s grandsons, Preston Shin-Myung Moon, 22, that enabled everyone to “let-loose” with their True Parents and experience a great day together.
Nothing could end a celebration better than the vocal performance of Rev. Sun Myung Moon himself, who was encouraged to come to the stage with family members beside him. He sang together with them, in the end dancing on stage after kissing his beloved wife on the cheek.
It was truly a family celebration supporting America: honoring its strong foundation, which God does not want to lose, and looking ahead to its potential. Rev. Moon encouraged all of us to join together and raise our standards for peace by building on what God has given us to create a world of “freedom, peace, unity, and happiness.”
Written by Celine Tardy, with contributions from Douglas Burton