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3rd Rally of Hope - World Leaders and Millions around the World Call for Peace

Seoul, Korea—Millions of viewers from 194 countries tuned into hundreds of broadcast stations and gathered online today to call for peace among and between nations at an event sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in Korea on Sunday, November 22. Keynote addresses, prayers, testimonies, flower tributes and world-class entertainment were all hallmarks of the celebration, which made it more real than virtual. The theme was “Rally of Hope for the Realization of a Heavenly Unified World: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.” To read the opening remarks by Dr. Thomas Walsh, click here.

Held in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War while calling for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula, this third rally in the Rally of Hope series ensured that the power of hope echoed around the world. Previous Rallies were held in August and September 2020. This event showed that the key to realizing this vision of lasting peace is a world that is an interdependent one, with mutual prosperity centered on the universal values of one global family of God.

To read The Washington Times article on this event, click here.

Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of UPF and keynote speaker in all three Rallies of Hope, outlined two new projects. First, she said, Korean War memorials should be set up in all 63 nations that gave troops, military supplies, medical support or humanitarian aid to Korea at the time of the conflict 70 years ago. (Many of these nations have memorials, but not all.) Moreover, Dr. Moon said, an online memorial has been set up and will include a registry of all those brave young heroes who served or sacrificed in any way to support Korea during its darkest hour. This project will be launched in 2021, in commemoration of Father and Mother Moon's visit to North Korea 30 years ago, when they directly engaged North Korea's leader Kim Il Sung to explore a comprehensive roadmap for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. 

Second, Dr. Moon announced the establishment of an international association of artists for world peace. This new association will seek to create a culture of gratitude, peace and harmony, beginning with raising sons and daughters of filial piety who live for the sake of others.

Dr. Moon began her address by saying, “All around the world, unforeseen and unexpected challenges are erupting in the realms of politics, economy and religious strife that are happening due to COVID-19. We can see the limitations of relying on human efforts alone to solve these problems. The key to achieving a beautiful future is to recognize and welcome our creator, Heavenly Parent, into our lives. God the creator is the Heavenly Parent of humanity.”

The Korean Peninsula is clearly a providential nation, where the will of Heaven can be realized and the only begotten daughter could be protected, she said. “What wind of good fortune brought the men to defend Korea in 1950? Young veterans came here to protect Korea. We can see through this that God the Creator is working with us. The warriors who shed blood on the battlefront will be eternally remembered in history. They are the heroes of God’s providence,” she said.

She noted that Korean War veterans are now in their late 80s and 90s and added that, before it is too late, she would like to thank the 16 nations that sent troops and all the nations that supplied medical and equipment by holding this Rally of Hope in commemoration of their fight to protect freedom and democracy.

The online rally viewed around the world treated the audience to a dazzling display of musical and dance performances by The Little Angels, the highly acclaimed children’s Korean folk ballet company, as well as remarks by world leaders from a dozen countries. The highlight was a touching tribute in ballet, song and evocative poetry dedicated to the veterans of the Korean War.

“I was wounded, left for dead, yet survived,” said Hon. Charles Rangel, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 2017 and a Korean War veteran. Honorable Rangel said that he “never, never” wanted to return to the place that brought him “so much misery and pain.” But as a member of Congress, he did return to Korea, where he witnessed South Korea’s rising from ashes to become a symbol of democracy, freedom and economic expansion, and a key ally to the United States. “So, being able to not talk about war today, but 70 years later to talk about peace is so important. God did not create us to destroy each other,” Honorable Rangel said. He added, “I want to thank Mother Moon for the sacrifices she has made in order to create this organization for world peace.”

“To be sure, diplomacy has to play an important role, but I think every person has a role to play in trying to bridge divisions,” said Ambassador Christopher Hill, who has served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq and South Korea. “All kinds of people need to come together, as this group suggests, and see what we can all do in our own different ways to deal with these very difficult issues,” he said. He concluded, “I especially want to thank Dr. Moon for her absolutely tireless efforts in raising these issues and for founding UPF, which has done so much to raise the consciousness of the world. She knows better than any of us the tragedy of this war.”

Ethiopia was one of 16 countries who responded to the call from the United Nations to help South Korea repel the North Korean invasion in 1950, said Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde. The unforgettable bravery and sacrifice of these men and women who fought in that conflict “is a testament to Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to the principle of collective security enshrined in the United Nations Charter,” Ms. Zewde said.

Canada was also part of the 16-nation UN force—and today, the average age of Korean War veterans is 88 years old, said former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “So, let us use whatever opportunities remain to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for what they accomplished.”

Mr. Harper and several other speakers said the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant economic, financial and medical turmoil stemmed, in part, from a lack of cooperation among nations. There are hopeful signs to fight the virus, such as treatments and vaccines, Mr. Harper told the Rally of Hope. And it has led to a new climate of unifying and cooperating: Even some Middle East countries “have put aside their differences with the signing of the Abraham Accords,” he said.

“We surely can effectively overcome COVID-19 if we join forces,” said former Belgium Prime Minister Yves Leterme, who recalled how more than 3,000 Belgium soldiers joined the UN forces to protect the Korean citizens from the communist invasion.

Colombia was the only Latin American country to join the UN forces, “and this important action has forged an eternal link with the history of South Korea,” said Colombia’s House of Representatives President German Alcides Blanco Alvarez. “The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is fundamental,” he said, as it “guarantees a stable and lasting peace, not only for that region of the world, but for the whole world.”

Additional calls for peace were shared by other speakers, including South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit. In South Sudan, making “total peace” with its sisterly country, Sudan, after 17 years of conflict, contributes to global stability, said Mr. Mayardit.

Although in El Salvador, “our peace process has been imperfect, we have shown the world that the solution to political crises and internal armed conflict is dialogue and finding agreement among brothers,” said Hon. Mario Ponce, president of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of El Salvador.

The Rally of Hope began with a peace offering from Dr. KH Nasaruddin Umar, Grand Imam of Istiqlal National Mosque of Indonesia, who said, “Peace among religions is a precondition for world peace.” 

Dr. George Mannah Weah, president of the Republic of Liberia, saluted UPF’s efforts as “a leading force for peace in today’s world” as he recalled how his nation has endured “suffering, destruction and devastation caused by war and division.”

The Rally of Hope series is dedicated to “building a unified world of peace,” said UPF Chairman Dr. Thomas G. Walsh. Throughout 2020, UPF chapters around the world have been convening hundreds of programs toward this end, “and over the next two years, those programs will increase dramatically. We need your help,” he said.

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