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Ambassadors for Peace

UPF-USA Honors 18 New Ambassadors for Peace in Parsippany, New Jersey

Parsippany, New Jersey, USA - UPF-USA hosted a luncheon honoring outstanding leaders in New Jersey on April 28. This event, attended by around 100 guests, was held at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel in Parsippany.

The 18 newly-appointed Ambassadors for Peace included Admiral J. Robert Lunney, a Korean War veteran who spoke about his profound respect for UPF founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his vision for a world of peace. Admiral Lunney served on the S.S. Meredith Victory during the Korean War and assisted in the evacuation of refugees from Heung Nam in northeastern Korea in December 1950.* He said, "this is the story of a miraculous voyage, of 14,000 refugees, where not one life was lost and five babies were born; it tops everything else in sheer drama." In reflecting on this experience, the ship’s captain said: “I think, the clear, unmistakable message comes to me that on that Christmastide, in the bleak and bitter waters off the shores of Korea, God's own hand was at the helm of my ship."

Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute was the featured keynote speaker and was also appointed an Ambassador for Peace. She addressed the current trends in American culture. She writes extensively on childhood, family issues, poverty, and cultural change in America. She is the author of four books including her latest, Manning up: How the Rise of Women is Turning Our Men into Boys, published in 2011.

Mr. Joel Austin, the founder of Daddy UniverseCity of Philadelphia, passionately addressed the issue of the need for parenting skills. He works with men to empower them to become good dads. Among African Americans, 77 percent of all babies are born without a dad to come home to. Among all Americans, 42 percent are born without a father in the house, according to a Centers for Disease Control report). This trend is increasing at an alarming rate, threatening the very well being of society. He said also that since he became an Ambassador for Peace many doors have opened for him. He attended the luncheon with his wife, Jill, and two teenage sons.

Mr. Jim Gavin, Mr. Robert Beebe, and Dr. Richard Panzer gave introductory presentations on the upcoming series of lectures on Freedom, Faith, and Family. During Mr. Gavin’s presentation on "Freedom is not Free," he showed the video of the Little Angels Korean Folk Ballet world tour video, which sparked a warm reaction from the audience. Rev. and Mrs. Moon were featured in the video giving a donation to honor Korean War veterans.

Following the main event, Mr. Gavin hosted an Executive Committee meeting to draft a plan of action for future work. Dr. Richard Panzer, senior advisor, together with Dr. Ann Iparraguirre, Mr. David Eaton, Mr. Robert Beebe, Mr. Alan Thibideau, Mr. Bill Dillinger, Mrs. Linda Haft, and Mr. Sam Sharma were among those who came forth to offer their help in the development of a series of lectures on Freedom, Faith and Family, America’s most fundamental virtues. These lectures will serve as the main content of educational efforts dealing with core issues affecting society today such as freedom and security, the purpose of life, the existence of God, evolution, and the defense of marriage.

* In December 1950, United Nations Command troops were retreating from northeast Korea after a massive assault by Chinese and North Korean forces. More than 100,000 soldiers were evacuated on 193 ships. News of the evacuation had spread in the region and many refugees fleeing from the communists lined up on the shore at Heung Nam seeking rescue. On December 21, Captain Leonard LaRue of the SS Meredith Victory, a 455-foot Merchant Marine freighter, decided to unload nearly all weapons and supplies on board the ship in order to transport the refugees to safety. Although built to accommodate only 12 passengers, besides the crew and staff, more than 14,000 Korean civilians filled the five cargo holds and main deck. The ship departed on December 23 and arrived in Pusan on Christmas Eve before heading to its final destination of Koje Island on December 26. It was the largest humanitarian rescue ever by a single ship.

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