A day of peace
SUN PHOTOS/CINDY LANE
Students created wish ribbons containing messages of
peace to display at Anna Maria Elementary School's
10th Annual Peace Day on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
HOLMES BEACH – It was a single day devoted to peace, but it was meant to inspire Anna Maria Elementary School kids for the rest of their lives.
The 10th Annual Peace Day celebration started and ended the day on the school lawn with parades, music and talk of peace.
Students carried flags of all nations, followed by Manatee High School cheerleaders, two of whom graduated from AME, performing a peace cheer.
The flags were planted around the peace pole, donated by the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island 10 years ago to honor those who died in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, according to Jim Dunne, who was Rotary president at the time.
The pole, which contains messages of peace in several languages, was renovated this year by the Rotary Club, current president Melissa Williams said.
Another peace pole was installed at Public School 69 in Jackson Heights, N.Y., which had a direct view of the Twin Towers, and from which two AME students had transferred.
Sisters Trina and Holly Rizzo, both AME graduates, sang the National Anthem in harmony, accompanied by soloists from the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra.
"We pledge ourselves to peaceful solutions to our problems," said Guidance Counselor and peace day coordinator Cindi Harrison, who helped student Mary Grace Cucci light the peace candle as the Roser Memorial Community Church choir sang "One Little Candle."
"We have a sparkle in our hearts for peace that we should share with our classmates, our friends and our family," Principal David Marshall told the students, many wearing T-shirts with peace signs.
As students sang peace songs, the wish ribbons they created blew in the breeze, with messages like, "I wish that no one will treat animals bad."
Evening ceremonies ended with the lighting of fire balloons, commemorating firefighters, police, the Rotary Club, education, veterans and the Parent Teacher Organization.
"We have a vision toward world peace," Williams said.