Gifts for the Kenosha International Noble Garden of Peace
by Stacey Mia
“We are the clay. You are the Potter. We are the work of Your hands.”
(Isaiah: 64-8). No situation were these words better exemplified than in the Presentation of Gifts for the Kenosha International Noble Garden of Peace on August 30, 2011.
As part of the Dedication of the Kenosha Garden of Peace, three Nations—Chile, China, and Israel—came forward to present the City of Kenosha
with special gifts, truly making this Garden international. The Garden is
situated in the southeast sector of Wolfenbuttel Park, which is so named
for one of the sister cities of Kenosha—Wolfenbuttel, Germany.
The first gift to the City of Kenosha was presented by Dr. Yu Liansheng from Sheyang, China. The gift was a 7,200 year old clay pot, which dates back to the time of the Mongol rule of China. Dr. Liansheng, one of the most famous calligraphers in modern China, brought this priceless gift on behalf of the City of Sheyang and the people of China.
The gifts from Chile and Israel were coordinated by Dr. Ernesto Kahan (Argentina/Israel), 1st Vice President-Secretary General of the World Academy of Arts and Culture (UNESCO) and Executive Vice President of the 31st World Congress of Poets.
While visiting Kenosha in May 2011 for several pre-Congress events arranged for him, Dr. Kahan shared a story with Dr. Mary Ann Lackovich and her staff. During the 2010 Chilean mine disaster, Dr. Kahan sent a letter of hope to the 33 miners trapped in the Copiaco, Chile mine in the Atacama Desert. Before Kahan arrived in Kenosha, he participated in an International Book Fair in Buenos Aires. At that time, he received a special gift given to him from the 33 miners who were rescued. The gift was a stone from the Chilean mine in a small treasure chest.
During his poetry reading at Carthage College, with the Carthage College Choir under the direction of Eduardo Garcia-Novelli, also from Argentina, Dr. Kahan shared the story with the audience. “They gave this to me in appreciation for my thoughts and prayers shared with them during their
69 days of being trapped in the mine,” Kahan related to the audience. When
he showed the gift to the audience, sounds of awe and thunderous applause erupted in Siebert Chapel.
After his return to Israel, Dr. Kahan related to Dr. Lackovich of the good news that the Chilean miners were presenting the City of Kenosha with a similar stone in a marble chest as a gift for the Kenosha Garden. This gift was part of a larger gift (33 stones in all) given in August 2011 from Chile to the United States of America in thanksgiving for America’s part in rescuing the trapped miners. The gift was presented to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and given to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. for an exhibition of the mine disaster, which began on August 6.
The final stone gift was brought to Kenosha by Chilean poet Pedro Serazzi, adorned in the Chile National Flag signed by the 33 miners, who made a heartfelt passionate speech during the Dedication Ceremony, thanking the people of America.
Dr. Kahan also personally donated a stone from the Mount of Olives in an ornate pyx presentation on behalf of the City of Jerusalem, as Israel’s gift to the Kenosha International Noble Garden of Peace.
All of these presentations were accepted by the Honorable Keith Bosman, Mayor of City of Kenosha.
Special thanks and gratitude to all who made this Garden a reality.
If the stones could cry out, they might say,