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August 5, 2012 Lanterns for Peace 6:30PM

(Dodgeville) The Annual “Lanterns for Peace” is Sunday, August 5 at Governor Dodge State Park. This year’s "Possiblities for Peace” event honors the late Joel Gaalswyk.

The unforgettable “Lanterns for Peace” event, a long-time local tradition, is scheduled for Sunday, August 5 at Twin Valley Lake in Governor Dodge State Park. Locally the event was started by the late Joel Gaalswyk in the mid-1980s, who will be honored at this year’s celebration

The highlight of the event, at dusk, will be the floating of over 90 hand-colored paper lanterns, linked loosely together as they are pulled slowly out into Twin Valley Lake by a silent canoe. As the darkness deepens, the long arc of glowing lights illumines the night, symbolizing our hope for a world of peace, free of nuclear weapons.

“The Possibilities for Peace” is the theme of this year’s event, which begins at 6:30 p.m., with lantern making, music, poetry, children’s stories and presentations. People are invited to bring a dish to share. A park day pass or sticker is required.

“Is world peace merely a utopian dream?” asks Edgewood professor Vince Kavaloski, a member of the Grassroots Citizens for Peace, sponsor of the Lanterns event. Kavaloski reports that despite violence in central Africa and the Middle East careful statistical research chronicled in the book, The Better Angels of our Nature: Why the World is Becoming Less Violent by Harvard professor Stephen Pinker, demonstrates that both the number of wars as well as war-deaths in the world have steadily declined since the end of World War II.

In particular, Europe, with the exception of the former Yugoslavia, has been dramatically devoid of war and the threat of war. Europe historically was the most violent region on earth for many centuries. Also there has been no war between major powers – another first – and no nuclear war. Finally, the vast empire of the Soviet Union collapsed, not because of NATO or US military power, but because of nonviolent people power.

“Of course, there is still far too much human suffering due to war in our world”, says Kavaloski. The Lanterns for Peace gathering is part of the global momentum toward its alleviation and in particular supports the movement for “Zero Nuclear Weapons.”

At the Lanterns event, beginning at 6:30 p.m., paper lanterns will be decorated with messages of peace and international friendship. Then at dusk they will be launched on Twin Valley Lake to symbolize the growing human aspiration to live in peace and harmony upon this planet.

For further information, contact Jane Kavaloski, of the Grassroots Citizens for Peace, [email protected]


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