2017 Day Trip: Rockford, Illinois / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza

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Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford, IL.

Built as a tribute to Virgil Keeling and Amarnath Puri, it honors the virtues of tolerance and respect for all people.

Dedicated to peace, tranquility and celebrating diversity and heritage.

Showcases 40 flags, 30 languages, 10 prophets of peace, two hemispheres, One World.

Location: near I-90/39 and Riverside Blvd
The plaza is also adjacent to Rockford’s 20-mile Perryville Path network of bicycle and recreational trails.

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Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

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MISSION

The plaza celebrates both the rich ethnic heritage of the Rock River region and the universal aspirations for true world understanding and tranquility. Our region’s diversity helps us prosper in the global economy. We pray that we will each embrace a heightened sense of personal responsibility and commitment to participation in the ongoing process which erodes barriers and builds enduring world peace.

From Micah 6:8 [of Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition] And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

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Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

 

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Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

 

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Key design elements of the beautifully landscaped Peace Plaza include:
Harmony Atlas Sculpture: the 15 foot by 34 foot sculpture “Harmony Atlas” by Lee Sido.
Granite Sculpture Base: 7 foot by 25 foot granite sculpture base with 10 peace quotes from modern day and ancient prophets of peace
Court of Flags: 40 flags from 40 different nationalities, all currently dwelling in the Rockford in significant numbers.
Peace Poles: Five Peace Poles- 8 foot tall, six sided obelisks – which proclaim in sixty different languages “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”
Plaza: The sculpture in the center of the Plaza itself crafted in brick-like streetprint.

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Harmony Atlas - by Lee Sido / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Harmony Atlas – by Lee Sido / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

 

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HARMONY ATLAS – by LEE SIDO

The Blaeu Map of 1605 AD inspired the image for the Harmony Atlas. The Blaeu Map divided the world into flat plane circles. My objective in designing this sculpture is to create an image that presents a community, global location while allowing the viewer to understand their position and relationship to the greater whole. I am particularly pleased with the context in which the Harmony Atlas dwells- in the plaza, and enhanced by the flags, peace poles and granite sculpture base – to inspire our entire community.

 

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Peace Quotes / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Peace Quotes / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

 

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GRANITE SCULPTURE BASE with PEACE QUOTES

The sculpture base is adorned with 10 peace quotes from modern day and ancient prophets of peace: John F. Kennedy; Mother Theresa; Martin Luther King; Mahatma Gandhi; an Oglala Sioux Native American; Albert Einstein; Abraham Lincoln; John Lennon; Petrarch; Aristide Briand; . . . and from Micah 6:8 of Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition.

 

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Court of Flags / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Court of Flags / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

 

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COURT of FLAGS

The flags correlate with the notions of origin of the current diverse population of our community. Flags accepted for display in the Court of Flags muct represent current member states of the United Nations which has embraced the aspiration for world peace. Special accommodation for Native American and African American representation has been made.

The United States Flag Code [U.S. Code Title 36, Chapter 10] requires that the US Flag be of the same size and flown at equal height with flags of other nations. The Unites States flag is located to the left and flags of other nations are arranged in alphabetical order. The flags represent 40 different nationalities, all currently dwelling in the Rockford area in significant numbers.

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Peace Poles / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Peace Poles / Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

 

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PEACE POLES with Prayer: May Peace Prevail on Earth.

The movement to bring about world peace through this prayer was started by Masahisa Goi in 1955. The World Peace Prayer Society is a nonprofit , member supported organization dedicated to spreading the message of prayer throughout the world. The idea of “planting” peace poles grew as the World Peace Prayer Movement gained momentum. In 2003 there are over 200,000 peace poles planted over 180 countries of the world. The Peace Poles in the Keeling-Puri Plaza proclaim the peace prayer – “May Peace Prevail on Earth” – in languages representing the native tongue of the ancestors of the Rock River Valley area.

There are five Peace Poles, each 8 foot tall, six sided obelisk which proclaim the simple prayer: “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.

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Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, Rockford

 

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Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza is built as a tribute to Virgil Keeling and Amarnath Puri.
It honors the virtues of tolerance and respect for all people.

Our region’s diversity helps us prosper in the global economy. We pray that we will each embrace a heightened sense of personal responsibility and commitment to participation in the ongoing process which erodes barriers and builds enduring world peace.
– Pam & Jim Keeling and Sunil Puri

The Keeling Family Statement

The Keeling family, in partnership with the Puri family, is proud to sponsor the Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza in loving memory of our fathers, Virgil C. Keeling and Amarnath Puri. Virgil and our mother, Barbara Wedge Keeling, set up their home in Rockford in 1950. Our father dedicated his life to healing. In his eyes, all people were always equal, with regard to ethnic background or material wealth. He instilled in his children and grandchildren the gift of balance between individual responsibility and group harmony. We know that Virgil and Amarnath would have been fast friends had they ever met. Let this Plaza and it’s mission be a permanent tribute to righteousness in the heart and peace in the world.
– Michael, James, Katherine, Timothy, and Thomas Keeling.

The Puri Family Statement

The Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza celebrates the converging of all cultures of the world. In partnership with the Keeling family, we are proud and humble sponsors celebrating the life of Amarnath Puri, patriarch of the Puri family of Bombay, India, and Virgil Keeling of Rockford, Illinois. Amarnath Puri taught us that it is our personal human responsibility to embrace those virtues in our daily lives which improve the quality of life and pave the way to peace and understanding. We also honor Chanchal Puri and Barbara Keeling, the now deceased family matriarchs, who became friends and visited each other’s homes, even though they lived half a world apart. May Peace Prevail On Earth.
– Sunil and Jenine Puri Harish, Vijay, Dilip, Dinesh, Pravin, Bharat, and Tanuj Puri.

 

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Rockford's Sister Cities Garden

Rockford’s Sister Cities Garden

 

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Rockford's Sister Cities Garden

Rockford’s Sister Cities Garden

 

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Rockford's Sister Cities Garden

Rockford’s Sister Cities Garden

 

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Puri Pavilion/ between Rockford Peace Plaza and Rockford's Sister Cities Garden

Puri Pavilion/ between Rockford Peace Plaza and Rockford’s Sister Cities Garden

 

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Jane Addams / Real, Original Rockford

Jane Addams / Real, Original Rockford

 

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 Real, Original Rockford

Cheap Trick / Real, Original Rockford

 

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Related Links:

Rockford Attractions.. click here..

My Vacations.. click here..
Vacation: USA.. click here..
Vacation: UK.. click here..
Vacation: India.. click here..
UNESCO World Heritage Site.. click here..
Home: Public Art in Chicago.. click here..

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