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Peace pole planted at Roseville school in honor of fallen solider

Students encouraged to commit acts of kindness
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Junction Elementary School students were encouraged to become "little peace builders" during a peace pole dedication ceremony Wednesday morning in Roseville.

Capt. Renee Marie of the Medical Service Corps urged the children to think every day about how they can make a difference. She told them about peace poles, which display the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in different languages.

The local school was given its own pole for the courtyard by Gloria Estrada in honor of her son Pfc. Rueben "Boy" Lopez, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in August 2011. One of his sisters, Monica Palmer, works as a psychologist at Junction Elementary School.

The peace pole is a handcrafted monument that serves as an international symbol of peace. The project was started by the World Peace Society - founded in Japan in 1955 - and now more than 200,000 of these poles have been dedicated in about 180 countries.

These monuments can be found at the Pyramids of El Giza in Egypt, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Gorky Park in Russia, Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima and Allenby Bridge on the border between Israel and Jordan.

Principal Carrie Vincent asked students to reflect on how they can make a positive difference in the world when they see the peace pole.

"We wish today to set off a ripple effect, a wave of kindness to others," she said.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.