Photo Gallery 2012


General Description:

Peace Day Hawaii began at 1:00 pm. on September 23, 2012, with exhibits, film, food and live music. The location was the Urban Garden Center in Pearl City Hawaii, and the purpose was threefold:

to celebrate United Nations Peace Day in Hawaii;

to recognize Distinguished Peacemakers from Hawaii;

to announce and break ground for the permanent Peace Garden, by dedicating plots to international peacemakers Dr. Daisaku Ikeda from Japan, and former Premier Zhou Enlai from China.

About 350 people from all walks of life in Hawaii were present. The main speaker was Maya Soetoro-Ng, acclaimed author and teacher in Honolulu, and sister of President Obama.


At 3:00 pm, the main program began, with the traditional Hawaiian blowing of the conch shell. A Hawaiian prayer and invocation was offered by young chanter Kaya Kamakau’i Patterson.

The Garden Hula Dancers, more than 30 strong, offered a moving performance of “Hawaiian Lullaby.”

Dean Maria Gallo, who administers the Urban Peace Garden, spoke to welcome everyone. She is Dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Dr. Jeannie Lum, also a professor at University of Hawaii and the event co-ordinator, described the history and significance of Peace Day in Hawaii.

Management of the Urban Garden Center, including Ray Uchida, Steve Nagano and Jayme Grzebik, detailed the work of their group, how and why it connects with the mission of peace in Hawaii.

A choral and ukulele instrumental group from Soka Gakkai International, the Ukulele Youth Group, performed the moving ““My Time With You”

A Distinguished Peacemaker Award was presented to Ha’aheo Guanson of the Pacific Center for Peace and Reconciliation, for her lifetime of leadership of the Hawaiian community in peace. She was introduced by Roger Epstein.

A Distinguished Peacemaker Award was presented to Gigi Coquio, for his courageous leadership of a peaceful community, Hoa ‘Aina o Makaha, living on the land in west Oahu. He was introduced by Lynn Okamura.

Slack-key Master Jeff Peterson provided an entrancing musical interlude, with his “Keauhou.”

Guest Speaker for the day was renowned bestselling author, teacher and speaker Maya Soetoro-Ng, who brought her children for the afternoon. She provided fascinating detail and stories of the new peace curriculum she is developing at University of Hawaii.

Kerrie Urosevich spoke of her work with Maya, as a teacher in developing the Seeds of Peace project. Laurie Faure explained the work of the UH Lab School in supporting Peace Gardens.

The Peace Garden Program Dedication began, by honoring the Zhou Enlai Peace Institute and dedicating a plot of land for the permanent peace garden in honor of Zhou Enlai and his wife, Deng Ying Chao. Speaking in acceptance were the grand-nicece of Zhou Enlai, Xiao Fang Zhou, and her husband Michael North.

The Peace Garden Program Dedication honored Soka Gakkai International, which was founded by renowned Japanese philosopher, poet and teacher Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. A permanent plot at the Peace Garden will be dedicated to Dr. Ikeda’s work. The honor of this dedication was accepted by Fletcher Boll, a leader of SGI-USA.

Finally, the group dedicated a large bodhi tree, grown from a cutting of the original tree in India where the Buddha is said to have meditated and reached enlightenment. The tree was donated by Jeannie Lum, and dedicated with a simple ritual of water and earth by Kahu Kaleo Patterson, of the Peace & Justice Reconcilliation Center. During the presentation, live classical music was heard, “Appalachia Waltz” (M. O’Connor), performed by The Makiki Serenaders.

The event was completed by a group song, “Let There Be Peace On Earth”, led by The Makiki Serenaders.

 Organizational participants included:

University of Hawai’i – College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources

Soka Gakkai International

Zhou Enlai Peace Institute

Pacific Gateway Center Lemongrass Café

Chef Dale Thomas

La Dolce Vita Cakery

World Institute of Medicine

Healing Hands of Light

St. John the Baptist Catholic School

Waikiki Acrobatic Troupe

Communities in Schools, Waipahu

Olelo Community Television

Hawai’i Forgiveness Project

Photos in the gallery by Michael North, Fletcher Boll, and Olelo Video.

 Click here to download the complete original program.