Fifth grader’s “What Peace Means to Me” essay picked as the winning entry

Kristina Newsome directed a choral group of elementary students providing holiday music during the program at city hall. Following the presentation of the essays, Madison Mayor Troy Trulock (pictured in the background) officially light the “Every Light a Prayer for Peace” Christmas tree. See more pictures at Photos by Jeff

“What Peace Means to Me” was focus of the annual “Every Light a Prayer for Peace” program at Madison City Hall on Sunday.

The Madison Garden Club hosted the ceremony and reception for the winners of the Every Light a Prayer for Peace essay contest.

Fifth grade students of Madison schools were asked to write an essay on “what peace means to me.”  The essays were judged by members of the Madison Garden Club and three winners selected.  The winners will read their essays at the ceremony.

The winners were: 1st place:  Jean-Pierre le Roux, 2nd place: Robert Blake Scott, 3rd place: Anna Crouse, honorable mention:  Soji Bedsole, Constance Hu, Joseph C. Mitchell and Wyatt Duthu

The Madison Garden Club presented a check of $25 to each of the winning essay writers.

Jean-Pierre le Roux’s essay is included below:

“Peace on Earth. That seems a lot more like a dream than a possibility. There are lots of people and other things on earth that make peace hard to keep. Have you ever gone camping? I have, and the sounds of the birds chirping, the squirrels chattering, and the running water of the stream are the most peaceful sounds I have ever heard.

“Now imagine those sounds, except they are not sounds instead they resemble the way we live. Wouldn’t that be amazing? There would be no war, no madness, just peace. There would be no need for armies because there would be no others to fight. The World Wars would never have happened. The Twin Towers would still be standing.

“The poor countries would receive enough food. That way, fights wouldn’t break out in the streets, because somebody had more food than somebody else.

“There would be no real worries. No need to be worried because there would be no real danger to worry about.

“Just imagine! You could step outside in Iraq, or in Afghanistan, and not find any bombs falling, or shots being fired.

“Money would still be used. The only difference would be that people wouldn’t steal it or kill for it.

“It would be like this all over the world. In Asia, Zimbabwe, Greece! Everywhere! All of the people. Just like birds, squirrels, and the stream in the forest.”

Robert Blake Scott said in his essay:

“My opinion of peace on earth is not stressing about stuff and letting it go and not worrying about getting hurt when I go places like when I’m on the bad side of town, my peace is my parents for protecting me and not getting hurt. And some more peace is animals like birds chirping and rabbits running. And when it’s fall and all those different colored leaves fall off the trees. And when it rains at night when I’m going to bed and the sound of the rain hits the roof and the lovely feel of the breeze hitting you. And I’m peaceful to have an army to fight for us and risk their life to keep us safe. Peace is one of the best things I’ve ever had. And the most of all, family and friends and for letting my brother be a patient at St. Jude’s. That’s the best place ever.”

Anna Crouse wrote:

“What peace on earth means to me. It’s a place where everyone is happy and has joy. A wonderland of happiness where no one is angry or rude. A field trip to peace. An amazing planet of kindness; a universe where laws are not needed. A place where everyone is your friend and everyone respects everyone else.

“If there was peace on earth then there would be no wars. Peace on earth would be a journey to friendship, an adventure to kindness. If we all want peace on earth then we all have to achieve it. That is what peace on earth means to me.”