April 29th 2012 was a special day for Belgium: the unveiling of the first World Peace Flame monument! More than 800 people joined in a very festive programme,the highlight of which was the lighting of the flame. The beautiful World Peace Flame monument of blue glass, is situated near the bridge over the Albert canal in Vroenshoven (Riemst), near the border with The Netherlands.
Representatives of the WPF Group Riemst and the WPF Foundation carried the WPF by boat to the bridge in Vroenhoven. There Savitri MacCuish and Mansukh Patel waited for the flame and walked with it to the WPF site. They were accompanied by children from 8 different schools, who have worked with the WPF educational peace pack ‘Peace in your Hands’. Choirs and fanfares performed ‘Ode an die Freude’ (from Beethoven’s 9th symphony) and children sang songs about peace.
Inspiring speeches were made by Mansukh Patel, Savitri MacCuish, Nicole van Herle (member of the WPF group Riemst) and Marc Vos (mayor of Riemst).
Mansukh Patel’s speech included these words:
“The World Peace Flame is a symbol, a powerful beacon of change that can inspire thousands to turn their dreams of peace into action. It demonstrates that a community, or even a small group of committed people, can do something to positively change the world.
This World Peace Flame monument has already catalysed the community of Riemst into countless actions towards peace. Its presence here will go on to inspire the thousands who pass here every day to turn their dreams of peace into action.”
The ceremony included a fanfare, choir, singers and a piper. Children read out their own wishes for peace, and these wishes were released up into the atsmosphere, carried by 200 white balloons.