Articles From the March 1995 Unification News
To Ease The Tears of War
by Mrs. Nora M. Spurgin-NYC
I want to bring my warmest greetings to each of you-women of Japan and America. We would especially like to welcome to America the ladies from Japan who have made a very long trip and much effort to come to America and share this afternoon's ceremony with us. I would also like to welcome the American women have come from all over this large country to participate in this special peace ceremony.
Within the last month, our hearts have turned to Japan, specifically Kobe. As Americans, we were deeply touched by the devastation of the earthquake. We wish to express our concern and send our prayers in this time of need.
I'd like to share a little story with you. Eighty years ago, 2000 cherry blossom trees (sakura) were sent to Washington D.C. from Japan as a gesture of friendship and openness. In 1938 some trees had to be dug up for the building of the Jefferson Memorial. These trees were so prized that a group of American women brought chains to chain themselves to the trees in order to keep them from being dug up. Today over 8,000 trees bloom every spring. People come from all over the world to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival celebrating this gesture of friendship between our countries. When we see the beauty of these trees, our minds always turn to the beauty and graciousness of the people of Japan.
If you look around you, you will see sisters who form a rainbow of colors. America is often called a "melting pot," meaning that people from all nations and races melt together to create a human family which lives and works together as one nation. In being welcomed by America, you are welcomed by the world.
Along with gestures of friendship, our countries have also had a history of hostilities. Sometimes this continues in the heart, arising anew in competition in the business world. Certainly 50 years ago, the wounds of war were fresh on the hearts of each of our two nations. No surrender, no peace treaty, no agreement can ever completely heal those scars. Such healing can be realized only through heart-to-heart relationships-the human factor. Today we stand as friends pledging our unity and commitment to foster greater peace on our planet.
On behalf of my own country, America, I pray that in becoming sisters, we may help erase the bitter tears and memories of the awfulness of the war. As we take each others' hands, we can feel that we are comforting the weeping mother, the dying child, the young widow, the wounded soldier, and the families which were separated.
I hope that, through this ceremony, each of you will meet a sister who can be your channel for love to flow in healing, and freeing our hearts of any barriers which may have stood in our hearts. I offer my heartfelt regrets for the historical pains which were experienced by the people of both our countries.
It is often women who become the harmonizers, the adhesive that binds lives together in wholeness. It is also often the women who reach out to their God to find vision and strength to help each other build a better world for the next generation.
Our world is changing rapidly. Women have the opportunity to make a great impact on world events and help shape the future. As women we add a more gentle touch of healing to a world that is often hardened by competition, greed and war.
The founder of WFWP has a vision that women in the 21st century will hold a central role in leading humankind into love, forgiveness, harmony, and cooperation. She believes that governments today would do well to call upon the feminine principles of caring and compassion to touch people in need. We believe that laws alone will never end violence, but love and compassion will.
We look forward to the new millennium, as an opportunity for a new beginning. It is exciting to be living at such a significant time. The turn of a millennium comes around only once in a thousand years. I might venture to say that none of us will see another. This is the age for women to participate in making strategies for world peace.
Eighty years ago, it was cherry blossom trees. Today, you have come from Japan to Washington D.C. in a similar gesture of friendship. May we, like the lovely sakura, expand our friendships, and become a leading force for world peace. We, as women, East and West, take on the role of "ambassadors of peace" for this new era.
Thank you very much.
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