Their Paths Are Peace


Verdant Symbol

 

Part One

 


17

 

A Refuge of Peace


Introductory Message

 


Mayor Anthony J. Celebreeze

Located on a winding trail in a setting, the beauty of which could be created only by the combined efforts of man and nature, the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland symbolize a refuge of peace in a strife-torn world.

The gardens were dedicated in 1939, significantly, the last year of peace since the termination of World War I. The Shakespeare Garden, first of the nineteen presently in the cultural Garden Plan, was dedicated in 1916 during the midst of this world-wide carnage in which America was engulfed one year later.

Today, the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland demonstrate the unity of the many separate nationality groups who, together, compose the American people. The City of Cleveland can take justifiable pride in the fact that nowhere in the world can a similar testimonial of understanding between peoples be found.

Inscribed on the monument in the American Legion Peace Garden of the Nation are the following words: "In America, peace, understanding, amity, and cooperation among the peoples of al nations." Soil from all parts of the world had been brought to this garden and blended together in a common mixture. The soil coupled with the inscription express the underlying theme or motif of the Cultural Gardens´┐Żbrotherhood and love of humanity.

The City of Cleveland is a cross section of America. Here we literally have a community of nations. The dream of the American melting pot has never been more clearly demonstrated than in the City of Cleveland where the Cultural Gardens stand as a memorial to the diverse nationalities and cultures of our city.

Mutual understanding, respect and brotherhood are part of the basic tenets of our democratic form of government. From the first day of the founding of the Republic, the inalienable rights of the American people of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have been nurtured in the soil of a free land. We have been blessed by Almighty God with a form of government under which we can raise our families in peace and security.

I believe it especially significant that the Gardens are the result of the combined effort of many individuals, groups, and the City of Cleveland. Each nationality group represented in the series of gardens has raised funds for material and has donated statuary as well as other objects of art of cultural importance. The City of Cleveland has been primarily responsible for the maintenance of the Gardens. This cooperation between the people and government represents the spirit which the Cultural Gardens inculcate in the minds of the people of the world.

I hope and trust that the basic concept behind the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland will provide the necessary impetus in the movement for better understanding among all people, and among all nations throughout the world. When the dream of the Cultural Gardens becomes a reality, we will then be living in a true community of nations under God.

--Anthony J. Celebrezze, Mayor

 


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