Jeannette Ross photos
Members of the Wilton Rotary Club and Wilton Congregational Church observed the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 by dedicating the latest pole in the club’s peace pole project. A ceremony took place at the site of the pole at Hillside Cemetery at noon, joining in a wave of observances at the same time around the world.

Pam Brown, executive administrator of Hillside, said a few words and the Rev. Anne Coffman led a short prayer.

Brown explained that the International Day of Peace was established in 1981 to commemorate and strengthen “the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

The peace poles planted throughout Wilton connect the town to “people all over the world who have planted peace poles in the same spirit of peace.”

“Hillside is a wonderful tapestry of our town,” she said. “We welcome all faiths. Having a peace pole here is particularly meaningful in these uncertain times.”

Each peace pole proclaims “may peace prevail on Earth” in four languages. Hillside, Brown said, chose English, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic. Latin, because it is a language of liturgy, and the others because “we are trying to honor the religions of the people buried here.”

Coffman led a prayer that asked to “silence our thoughts of grief or anxiety … help us focus on peace instead of unrest … help us to be a spark that ignites peace in others … [and] let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.”

Joining Coffman and Brown were Rotarians Carol Johnson, Christene Freedman, and Paul Hafter, and church members Yasmin Assef, Coleen Amero, and Kenny Mercer.

To conclude the ceremony each took one of several “peace rocks,” painted by young people in town, and placed it at the base of the pole.

The peace pole at Hillside is the 12th to be planted in town. The others are at Wilton’s five schools, the Wilton YMCA, Gregory & Adams, Wilton Travel, Wilton Library, Trackside Teen Center, and Realty 7. Any individual, organization or business interested in planting a peace pole may email president@wiltonrotaryclub.org for more information.