Our Chicago Peace Run started with a beautiful morning run along Lake Shore Drive as we enjoyed the magnificent panoramic views of Lake Michigan.
Prema came all the way from San Francisco to join us in this weeks' Peace Run events. We had a full team of runners from other U.S. cities and other countries as well.
We caught some great views of Lake Michigan as we ran alongside this huge and beautiful body of water.
Along the way we passed by a few places celebrating world peace, such as this Peace Pole.
Our birthday runner, Olivia, stops at one of the few peace gardens along the way.
Another beautiful Peace Garden along the way to inspire us.
Along our run we met with many wonderful friendly locals who stopped to share their hopes and wishes for peace with us.
Two kind sisters stopped on their bike ride to share their wishes for peace with us.
This gentleman had just found a very young bird who was abandoned and was saving it from danger. A very peaceful act of kindness and compassion.
A very young peace lover and her mom.
We ran into our first ceremony for the day was at one of the many Peace Trees planted over the years in Chicago by the Peace Run and the Austin Green Team, at Le Claire Garens.
Olivia from Mexico celebrates her birthday today at the Peace Tree in LeClaire Garden where we were greeted by many local peace lovers and servers.
Tina Augustus, President of the Austin Green Team, welcomes us with her kind words about the Peace Run and her affiliation with us and the Peace Tree program's relationship to the Austin Green Team.
Police Officer P. Lane came to control traffic here and ended up becoming part of the enthusiastic participants in today's celebration. Dedicating his life to peace in the neighborhoods, his kind and sincere words on peace struck home quite powerfully.
Today's organizer, Tina Augustus, and Officer Lane share a moment of peace by the Peace Tree, planted here last year.
Tamea(Mea) Mallett, a 17-year old Junior in High School here, offered some very wise words as she explained her interest in and work with self-help and self-evaluation with the youth of the city in Chicago.
Steve, who is one of the stewards of some of the many gardens planted in Chicago, offers his inspiration and enthusiasm for the importance of these projects for creating peaceful places for the local communities.
Michelle, a natural foods vegetarian chef, came here to serve us her most deliciious healthy food she so lovingly prepared just for this occasion.
Her delicious food and beautiful smile brightened up our whole day.
Many local organizers who help to bring peace and safety into the neighborhoods in Chicago offered their kind words of wisdom and advice to inspire us to keep running for peace.
Jerome Altman, Executive Director of Exodus, a youth organization focusing on education and featuring a talented drum and bugle corps, inspires us with some of his stories of offering the youth positive opportunities in the communities.
Daniel Gibbs, with the Austin Green team, and his son Everett share the peace Torch together in a moving moment of Father and son oneness.
Cora Williams recieves the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award for her decades of service tosome of the the communities of Chicago helping and teaching others the importance of gardening and offering peaceful and healthy environments for the local residents.
Cora has been an inspiration to hundreds of Chicagoans, especially for those in the Austin Green Team and other local community organizations.
Our next stop was the Exodus headquarters nearby.
Executive Director Jerome Altman and President Sevak Ed James give us a tour of their newly renovated building. Sevak bought this chair for Jerome and had it customized for him as a special gift.
Lunthita offers Sevak, Jerome and longtime and eldest member of Exodus, Edward Francies, a colorful painting on the theme of peace, by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.
Reverend Harris offers us a powerful blessing and performance of a classic spiritual song,'A Change is Gonna Come', by Sam Cook.
Outside on the Exodus lawn is a Peace Tree dedicated to Sevak Ed James' wife, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago.
Before dinner we stopped by this famous sculpture, nicknamed 'The Bean', in Millenium Park in downtown Chicago.
This huge reflective structure creates many strange and amusing perspectives that we enjoyed as we brought the Peace Torch to take some team photos there.
After dinner we finally were able to formally celebrate Olivia's birthday. Originally from Mexico, she has been on the team since San Diego and Seattle, and now here in Chicago. She brings a very dynamic and friendly addition to our Peace Run team... Feliz Cumpleanos, Olivia.