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Washington, D.C.

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On September 17, Generation Peace Academy participants turned out in force for an afternoon Peace Road event, biking around the length of the National Mall to raise awareness about the America and God’s Will rally, which would take place later that afternoon in Washington, D.C. Over 50 riders wearing bright green Peace Road shirts rode around the D.C. streets, and Andrew Love, pastor of the New Hope Family Church in Bowie, Maryland, emceed the event. 

To represent building the Peace Road in real time, a group of children assembled a Peace Road puzzle. “The kids are going to create more peace right in front of our eyes, one piece at a time,” said Pastor Love. “Imagine a world where there’s a road that connects the entire world. Imagine packing up your car and driving from here to Kiev. We’re living in a time where people are talking about division and boundaries and walls, but we’re saying, ‘No, we’re all one global family.’ That’s the heart of Peace Road.”

Former congressman John Doolittle remarked, “God raised America so we could have freedom of religion and preach that to the world. We are the only country in the world that proclaims that God is the source of our rights, although it doesn’t always feel like that right now. That’s why we want to have this symbol of unity, the Peace Road, as we celebrate this great country of America.”
 
Robert Cunningham and Sachika Iwamoto, participants of the Generation Peace Academy (GPA), also shared their personal stakes in the Peace Road, describing their experiences abroad doing peace work and seeing a dire need to unite people around the world.

As the Peace Road riders made their way back to the top of the National Mall, the 40th anniversary program for the Washington Monument Rally began, drawing over 4,000 people to celebrate True Father’s landmark speech. 

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Armenia

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Contributed by Armen Yepremyan, President Universal Peace Federation-Armenia

Unificationists of the project “Peace Road – Armenia 2016” decided to climb the Southern peak of Mount Aragats, the tallest mountain in modern Armenia. Peace Road refers to a global project based on the enduring vision of the founder of the Family Federation, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, in which the world is physically connected through an international highway of peace.

The 23 Unificationists who honored Rev. Moon’s vision in Armenia began their trek from the famous lake at Mt. Aragats, Lake Kari, which is located 3250 meters above sea level. On a perfect morning in the light of the bright sun, young Unificationists began their climb for peace. After 2 hours of walking, the Unificationists reached the foot of the mountain. They came to a halt when they saw the remains of glaciers. The glacier protected them from the sharp, cold wind. The participants were enthusiastic, unaware of the surprises that awaited them.

The second part of the journey was a real challenge for the Peace Road participants. The small, light clouds the climbers had admired at the beginning of the road suddenly turned grey and ominous. As the Unificationists came toward the end of their climb, the path abruptly became steep, stones and earth pouring down under their feet. The piercing wind and hail exacerbated their already difficult situation. The climbers could no longer immediately return to the bottom of the mountain as some of them had desired.

Nonetheless, through teamwork, the group managed to climb all 3879 meters of the Southern peak of Mt. Aragats. Despite their exhaustion, the participants of Peace Road were rejuvenated in their hope for the world afterward.

Although they could have admired the indescribably beautiful view of the crater and the other mountain peaks, the weather complicated their plans: the air temperature was below zero, icy gusts of wind were painful, and hail was rampant. The walk down the mountain was fairly steep and much longer. A huge dark cloud covered the sky, pushing each participant to walk faster, as it is more dangerous walking down amid fog. Although the group hurried with all their efforts, the storm cloud caught up with them and tormented them with rain and hail all the way. Despite the tumultuous weather, the Unificationists did not surrender. Instead, they joked and encouraged each other.

The more challenges the group faced in nature, the closer everyone became by helping each other each step of the way. When they finally returned, the participants were freezing and soaked to the skin. Yet what stood out most to them was the satisfaction in completing the climb and continuing Peace Road.

There is an Armenian legend that says that St. Grigor Lusavorich the Illuminator climbed to the top of Mt. Aragats to pray, and at night his path was lit by a lamp hanging in the sky. According to the legend, even now, this lamp shines at night, but only the chosen can see the light. It appears that amidst the dark clouds, the rain, and the hail, the Unificationists never lost sight of the light as they walked for peace.

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Las Vegas

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On July 31st, a Peace Road Rally took place at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas. Fifty riders–including FFWPU North America Continental Chairman, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim; FFWPU USA President, Dr. Michael Balcomb; staff of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) 50th Anniversary banquet, and FFWPU USA youth pastors–got on their bikes and completed an 8-kilometer peace ride, while wearing their Peace Road t-shirts and waving their flags.

One of our special guests, Dmitry, President of Peace Road in Russia, shared Peace Road best practices for aspiring rally organizers. He regularly runs Peace Road rallies and meets with mayors to spread the message and vision of the Peace Road, and shared that he always makes sure to carry his Peace Road flag with him wherever he goes.

The idea of a “Peace Road” or an international highway that physically connects all people of the world together, was the enduring vision of the founder of the Family Federation, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon. In 1981 at an international science conference in Seoul he suggested the construction of a highway between Korea and Japan, two former enemy nations, and from 2005 onwards he began to advocate a more ambitious project: the building of the instagram viewer tracker “Peace Tunnel” to cross the Bering Strait.

In 2015, the 10th Anniversary of that speech and the 3rd Anniversary of Rev. Moon’s passing in September 2012, thousands of supporters and friends of peace all around the world walked, rode and drove the proposed course of the Peace Highway in honor of his memory and his dream of peace. His widow, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, spearheaded the effort to rekindle interest.

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The annual Peace Road tour is keeping that vision of peace alive by traveling as much of the Peace Road as possible each year.

Today more than ever, we see the need for a bold peace initiative. Become a part of this historic event! Get excited for Peace Road USA 2016! If you’re interested in hosting an event, fill out the form at familyfed.org/peaceroad.

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Portland

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There was a lively spirit in Portland, Oregon as local families held a Peace Road Rally on July 23. About 25 riders rode from the Holy Ground on Mt. Tabor to Peace Park.

This year, young members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), led by Daniel Stump, organized most of the program with support from their families. They had set up tents at the beginning and end for registrations and refreshments. 

 “We were blessed with good weather, for it rained last year on the ride,” said Portland Family Church Pastor Eric Sylte. “Our Peace Road event has developed from last year, with about twice the riders, and the spirit was very good.”

It takes about 5 miles to reach the destination, but about half of the group decided to ride a longer route to reach the Peace Park. Both groups were able to meet there around noon.

Are you interested in hosting or joining a Peace Road Rally? Check out our upcoming DC event https://www.sites.google.com/view/freemusicallyfollowers on September 17 at the America and God’s Will Rally, or fill out our interest form here.

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Who came up with the idea for ROBLOX

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