December 19, 2022
This holiday season, Middle Smithfield Township is honored to host the International Peace Light, and will receive the flame from Boy Scout Troop 87 at a special short ceremony on Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 pm. The public is welcome and encouraged to join supervisors Annette Atkinson, Mike Dwyer, and Mark Oney, and leave with their own peace light if they choose.
Each year, the light, which originates in Bethlehem, is transported from Israel to Austria. At a ceremony in Vienna, members of an international delegation of Boy Scouts and Guides light their own lamps and return to their home countries, transferring the light around Europe, accompanied by a message of world peace. From Vienna, the lamp from Bethlehem is flown by Austrian Airlines to New York City and is spread throughout the United States by scouting groups.
This year, the peace light is coming to Middle Smithfield Township. Boy Scout Troop 87 will bring the Peace Light to the Township building, where it will be used to light a lamp at 7:00 pm, as a symbol of spreading world peace. Middle Smithfield Township 2018 Person of the Year Finalist and Troop 87 Assistant Scoutmaster Francis Oquendo organized the event, and met the Peace Light at the airport. He has been distributing it ever since.
“The Peace light is for everyone, and everyone these days needs a little peace in their life,” said Oquendo. “Our aim is to spread the light of peace for all to enjoy.”
“The light will remain lit at the township building until after New Year,” said Supervisor Mark Oney. “Residents can visit us and light their own light from our Peace Light, spreading peace throughout our community.”
The Middle Smithfield Township Building is located at 147 Municipal Drive, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302. More information about the Peace Light is available online at www.peacelight.org.
Details for the Peace Light Ceremony:
When: Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 7 pm
Where: Middle Smithfield Township Building, 147 Municipal Drive, East Stroudsburg, PA, 18302.
Contact Info: Holly Dennis 570-223-8920 ext. 132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the International Peace Light: The Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was originally organized in 1986 by the Austrian Broadcasting Company – ORF (Linz) – and was part of a large charitable relief mission -Light into Darkness, for children in need in Austria and abroad. Since 1989, there has been a great deal of co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries, which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe. The Peace Light first came to New York in 2001 by Canadian Scouts who brought it to Ground Zero. In 2004 the Austrian Scout Movement, Austrian Airlines and Boy Scouts of America International Division arranged to bring the 2004 Peace Light to New York on Dec. 4. Two security guards and Dr. Thomas Ertlthaler, international commissioner of Austrian Scouting, flew from Vienna with the Peace Light in two explosion-proof, British mining lamps, fueled by smokeless paraffin oil. Just 11 days earlier, Austrian Scouts had extracted the light from the eternal flame in Bethlehem. The Peace Light has returned to the US each year since 2004.