Ten years ago a small group of local residents founded Juneau People for Peace and Justice. The war in Iraq had just started and people wanted a voice.
Since then, Juneau People for Peace and Justice has been a visible and vocal organization dedicated to cultivating the message of peace.
JPPJ will commemorate the decade on Saturday with a Celebration of Hope that peace really will be given a chance in this war-torn world.
It started in December 2002, when the group took out a newspaper advertisement in the Juneau Empire.
Founding member K.J. Metcalfe says it was signed by people of all political persuasions.
“Had over a thousand signatures of local people saying war was not the answer,” he says.
Many of those people later joined in a march across the Douglas Bridge that also swelled to more than a thousand people.
“So there was a fair amount of discussion going on in the community and some people would walk that walk and come out and not only talk about peace but also be on the streets,” Metcalf says.
Similar groups across the country had formed, and their messages were being heard. JPPJ got the ear of at least one member of the Alaska delegation, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who participated in a town meeting-type forum protesting the war.
It was held the day after Memorial Day. Rich Moniak was there.
“And she said that our event, with all that dissent about the war, was every bit as patriotic as the Memorial Day celebration she had seen the day before,” Moniak recalls.
JPPJ is holding a community Celebration of Hope from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Northern Light United Church. Bring a dish to share.
- "A lot of ice experts, including myself, thought we were headed for a record year minimum," said Hajo Eicken, a professor at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- Despite rainy weather, the luxury cruise liner Crystal Serenity arrived in Nome on schedule, Sunday morning. About a thousand people poured out of the floating hotel and emptied into the town of Nome for a full day of scheduled activities and events, including the formal commemoration held at the Nome Mini Convention Center.
- Kenai Peninsula Assembly Vice President Brent Johnson plans to introduce an ordinance at the meeting Tuesday, August 23, that would replace the invocation or prayer said at the beginning of meetings with a moment of silence.