Patton community dedicates Peace Pole
Posted on 06/03/2016

Holocaust survivor, speaker and author Alter Weiner was honored by the Patton community this week with the unveiling of a Peace Pole in the school atrium during “Al Appreciation Day.” The pole is intended to keep Weiner’s legacy alive for future generations of Patton students.

The event was marked with an assembly for eighth graders that featured a PowerPoint overview of Weiner’s life, a poem reading and mayoral proclamation. 

Weiner moved to Oregon in 2000 and has shared his story of survival and hope with schoolchildren across the state in the years since. He has visited McMinnville students every year since 2002 and has reached approximately 7,000, according to Patton teacher Mary Lukehart, one of the event’s organizers.

The Peace Pole is displayed in the Patton atrium, a small courtyard visible from a hallway off the school’s commons. The pole features the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” painted in a different language on each of the pole’s four sides: English, Spanish, German and Polish. The top of the pole includes a directional mileage sign, pointing to Weiner’s hometown, Chrzanów, Poland.

Too ill to attend the presentation, Weiner spoke to the students by phone, urging them to “Appreciate what you have. Love is the answer to all difficulties in life.”

After the assembly, the students filed through the atrium, placing a stone at the base of the pole to symbolize the lasting presence of life.

Also honored at the assembly were the three students who had been inspired by Weiner’s story to enter the Sala Kryszek Art & Writing Competition, an annual contest intended to foster an awareness of the Holocaust. Read more about the Patton art-winning students here.