Attendees gathered in the Meditation Garden for The Highground’s annual Day of Peace Ceremony on September 21. Every year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The United Nations General Assembly designated it to be a day of non-violence and cease-fire to strengthen the ideals of peace. Communities around the world hold Peace Day events at noon to observe the human cost of war. Because part of the organization’s mission is to educate on the human cost of war, The Highground began holding Day of Peace ceremonies in 2020.
This year’s ceremony began at noon with a welcome by Theresa Hebert, The Highground Museum and Education Coordinator, followed by a minute of peace. The crowd, comprised of over 40 adults and a large group of students from Cornell Elementary School, was led by Pastor Doug Bjerke in an invocation.
Community members were invited to sing songs, recite poetry and share stories during the ceremony. Vietnam Veteran Skip Klabon offered two writings, one on his experiences fighting in the Vietnam War and another one titled “War is Hell”. Dennis Elrod read his poem “The Highground”. Throughout the program, Pam Smith and Kathy Burnett sang several songs.
Following the ceremony, visitors were given golf cart rides to the Dove Effigy Mound below the plaza as well as the Peace Pole which is located along one of the Park’s trails. Thanks to the coordination and efforts of Deb Klabon, an incredible variety of international foods were available to sample. Over 30 different dishes were prepared by Deb with assistance from John and Fran Donahue, Tina Feiten, Bonnie Henchen and Julie Diesing. Thrivent Financial helped support the after-ceremony feast.
The public is welcome to attend The Highground’s Education Days coming up on Thursday, October 6 from 9:30am – 2:30pm. There will be presentations and discussions on WWII Pacific Theater, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan at the high school and adult level. For more information and to RSVP, please send an email to Theresa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-743-4224.
The Highground is located at W7031 Ridge Rd, Neillsville WI 54456. thehighground.us.