The 75-foot peace symbol is made of turf, the "negative space" of the peace symbol is filled in with colorful flowers, and a peace pole will be placed at the top of the circle.
Groundbreaking for the Peace Memorial was on April 23. Volunteers finished preparing the ground and put in the sod forming the peace symbol on April 29. Flowers were put in the ground on May 20, and dedication is to take place in a ceremony on Memorial Day, May 29.
The stated purpose of the park is to memorialize all victims of every war. This includes civilians of all sides, as well as military pawns of foreign policy. It includes the people of Dresden, the citizens of Hiroshima, as well as the Vietnamese and American victims of Agent Orange poisoning, and the people living with radiation sickness in Iraq and the US.
We have established a "peace memorial" instead of a "war memorial" because war memorials remember only the soldiers of "our side" of a war, ignoring all others, glorifies their deaths, and thus glorifies the war they fought in along with the "nobility" of war itself. A peace memorial, on the other hand, represents the true human cost of war: military, civilian, and future generations of all sides. It sees no glory in these deaths, but only sorrow. The peace memorial brings to bear the nobility and courage of peace work as opposed to militarism, and endeavors to inspire visitors to pick up the mantle of working for peace. Our peace memorial attempts to inspire and tell these stories with a well-known symbol of peace made from the planting and care taking of living things -- grass, flowers and trees -- and a totemic peace pole at the head reminding the visitor that peace exists in all languages. That military veterans and their families, who have dedicated their lives to peace, are planting these things will amplify this significance to the general public.
The Peace Memorial Park is located just past the East end of the Steel Bridge, at NE Oregon and NE Interstate. See www.vfpchapter72.org/peace-park for details.