C4 Thursday, September 21, 2000 THE MAUI NEWS
International Peace Poem
with Maui ties
presented to U.N.
NEW YORK - The International Peace Poem, a project started on Maui four years ago, was presented to the United Nations on Tuesday by supporters that included Lahaina poet Melinda Gohn.
The document containing more than 25,000 lines of poetry from people of more than 100 nations was presented during United Nations Millennium Peace Day at the UN Plaza.

As part of the presentation, Mackey "Red Sky" Washinawatok recited poetry from Mother Teresa for his late mother, Ingrid Washinawatok.
Ingrid Washinawatok was killed while on a peace mission to Colombia that included Big Island resident Laha'ena Gay and Terrance Freitas of San Francisco. The three were on a cultural education mission at the invitation of the Uwa Tribe when they were killed in March 1999 by guerillas with a rebel army opposed to their efforts to assist the indigenous tribe.

Gohn, a coordinator of the International Peace Poem Project, told those in attendance that the document is one of love, understandingand hope, written mainly by youth. "Their voice is the voice of the future. Their hope is for peace in the millennium." she said. "The project has been a voice for people of the world to express their hope for peace. Let us hope world leaders will listen and work toward non-violent solutions."

Gohn added that the United Nations is inviting member nations to participate in adding lines to the poem. Her goal was to create the world's longest poem by having 250,000 contributors write two lines each. The world's longest poem is a Mongolian folk epic, "Manas," with 500.000 lines.

Already, the project has lines of poetry from young and old in 70 different languages. It has recieved lines of poetry from Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris, Miss America, Miss Hawaii, Willie Nelson and Hawaii's first lady, Vicki Cayetano.

People may add their two lines of poetry and find out more about the project by accessing the Web site at www.peacepoem.org.

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