Citizens' Column

Details: Page 1   Page 2

CITIZENS' COLUMN 2002, 89” tall X 21” base. A “Swords into Plowshares” sculpture made of Granite & Stainless Steel military ware and adorned with inspiring quotes. Symbols are explained from the bottom up:

Base: Cement with black granite. Black symbolizes strength and power in many cultural traditions.

Section 1 QUOTATIONS: “The fruit of silence is prayer; The fruit of prayer is faith; The fruit of faith is love; The fruit of love is service; The fruit of service is justice; The fruit of justice is peace.” (Mother Theresa of Calcutta)

“Seven Sins of the World: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

SYMBOLS: TANK with BENT CANNON symbolizes disarmament. A BROKEN RIFLE to symbolize an end to violence is used by the War Resister’s League.

Section 2 QUOTATIONS IN BRAILLE: “We are judged on how we treat others, not on how they treat us.” (Bishop Tutu’s mother) “Peace is a verb,” the motto of Patriots for Peace, an educational coalition (founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams and Christina Larson)

SYMBOLS: The DOVE, symbolizing peace, is used by the Peace Tax Fund.
HEART IN A HOUSE represents harmony in the home, a United Nations symbol.

Section 3 QUOTATION: “We have not inherited the earth from our fathers, ….we are borrowing it from our children.” (Native American message of good stewardship)

SYMBOL: RECYCLE SYMBOL also indicates sustainability in a no-waste world.

Section 4 SYMBOLS: TRIANGLE is a symbol of triune balance as in the Christian trinity of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit; Hindu Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu; Physics mass, spin, charge; Existential umwelt, mitwelt, eigenwelt; indigenous traditions, pyramids, and more. The equilateral triangle is the Latin and Greek letter “delta” that means “door,” a passage toward opportunity.

GINGKO, the first tree to leaf out after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has become a symbol of regeneration and peacemaking.

HARMONY IN THE HOME counters domestic violence.

OLIVE BRANCH is a Jewish Torah symbol for peace. After the great flood, from Noah’s ark a dove was seen carrying an olive branch, a sign that land was near and assurance of G-d’s covenant with humankind.

WINDMILLS symbolize sustainability. Wind provides a clean source of energy.

Section 5 QUOTATIONS: “Peace is a verb” (Christina Larson). Peace, like “faith” in Greek, is an action, not a passive noun. Peace is an on-going process that requires work.

Section 6 BRAILLE: “One small accomplishment is worth a thousand great ideas.” (Mahesh Seth) “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” (Confucius) | SYMBOL: OLIVE BRANCH

Section 7 | SYMBOLS: All of these Native American symbols represent peace and balance. BISON FOOTPRINTS: May your path bring you to food. Peace is possible only when everyone eats. FRIENDSHIP PIPE is smoked during peacemaking ceremony and to welcome others into the home. BROKEN ARROW is a symbol of disarmament. BURIED TOMAHAWK or HATCHET brings a halt to animosity. BISON (erroneously called “Buffalo” just as indigenous people were wrongly called “Indians”) symbolizes sustainable, continuing food supply. Genocide efforts included mass slaughter of Bison herds to eliminate food supply of indigenous people. Bison once grazed freely in Florida.

Section 8 BRAILLE: “No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.” (Jean Nathan) “Make an opening for light within each word you speak.” (Baŕl Shem Tov)

SYMBOLS: GINGKO SAPLINGS separate the two quotes. An eastern woodland Native American tradition is to plant a row of trees between neighboring tribes that symbolize peaceful solutions. Saplings symbolize delicate, newly formed peace.

AN ETERNAL, GRANITE FLAME atop the sculpture sends forth to all the world good thoughts and prayers for responsible citizenship, justice, and peace. The flame also represents a city of human design based firmly in the Earth, resting on solid principles, and reaching toward Heaven. Because granite and stainless steel are strong materials, it is hoped that the values expressed in the CITIZENS’ COLUMN will endure.