May 5, 2023 Live from the road

San Diego, California

Reported by Arpan DeAngelo 2.0 km

At Finney Elementary School we found very artistic and peace loving students and teachers as well.

Some of the children were enthusiastically awaiting our arrival and ready to run into the assembly with us.

Before we started the ceremony the art teacher showed us some of the artwork the children created in their special spaces which inspire incredible and colorful creations.

Art teacher Stacey Clementson,(on the left) shows the Peace Runners the beautiful outdoor art workshop that the children decorated with their own colorful artwork and designs.

Beautiful works of art were everywhere, even in the school offices.

A marching band of students led us into the schoolyard with a very uplifting and powerful beat.

We received such a warm and powerful welcome from everyone as we ran in with a group of students following the marching band.

The Finney Cheer squad welcomed us with some dynamic music and dance led by their dance instructor.

Beautiful artwork even decorated the whole stage.

We started our presentation with an exercise in concentrating on our heart and trying to feel a sense of peace.

Children were making a wonderful effort to feel peace in their hearts and imagining this deeper peace spread to those around them as well.

Salil, our Executive Director, hops like a kangaroo to demonstrate where he hails from as the children try to guess our native countries with clues. His clue is always a winner with the children who never fail to guess Australia.

Marina was thrilled when some of the children guessed her original country of Korea.

Pujari, one of our local runners from San Diego, displays a photo of the Earth as the children guess where we are all from as one big family of humanity trying to live together on this oneness-home in peace.

After the children guessed all of our countries correctly we sang them a song as promised.

Musicians played peace songs on guitars, ukeleles and xylophones for us as well.

Some of the students and teachers received Peace Run Torch-Bearer Awards for their valuable contributions and efforts in cultivating and inspiring peace and kindness in their school and communities.

The teachers were recognized and cheered by the students for their valuable roles they play in teaching the children lessons in life and love and peace. This kind of commitment to educationg the young children is to be applauded always as it is recognized as a crucial element of our communities and society as whole.

The marching band played a dynamic song while the teachers ran with the peace torch around the the cheering school children.

Michael Gray conducts the student band as they perform a dynamic song to accompany the teachers as they run a lap around the cheering children with the peace torch.

Mr. Gray conducting with the Peace Torch 'baton'.

The children also had a chance to run a few laps for peace with the Peace Torch as well.

Two close friends and San Diego Padre baseball fans offer us very heartwarming smiles during the day's exciting events.

The children had some time to hold the Peace Torch and make their own wishes for peace

We are very grateful to the teachers who were so involved in today's events and brought so much peace as well as dynamic and creative spirit to

A great group of peace lovers from our team and some of the students.

We ended our event by visiting the Peace Tree planted by the students in 2022 about one year ago. The plaque reads:
"Nature's beauty helps us
TO be as vast as possible,
As peaceful as possible
And as pure as possible."
A poem by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.

Finney Elementary School Garden with some of the wonderful teachers who helped make today's ceremony a truly creative and dynamically peaceful success.

We headed off running to our next destination with Jack Morrison leading us with the Peace Torch.

After reaching The Silver Wing Elementary School we were greeted by some of the students who were eager to run into the ceremony with us.

We made it to the school yard where hundreds of children were cheering for us and some of them displaying their wonderful artwork on the theme of Peace

We made our presentation along with children displaying some of their very colorful artwork on the theme of peace and love.

It is a powerful experience when hundreds of children are practicing the 'art' of feeling peace and love in their hearts in silence.

Introducing ourselves by having the children guess our countries and then locating it on the huge map.

We rewarded their successful guessing of our countries by teaching them one of our peace and harmony songs with the actions that go along with the words.

Children and adults alike love to join in this dynamic action song composed by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run.

Colorful peace hats and beautiful peace posters and artwork were everywhere to be seen.

The children then performed their Rainbow Song for us.

It was a very touching performance as they sang their song most beautifully.

We are very grateful to Principal Theresa Corona and her staff for organizing such a beautiful and colorful program for us today.

Principal Corona receives our Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the students and teachers who did such a wonderful job in creating this program on peace and love which is so meaningful and important for all of us.

We also offered the school a beautiful painting by Sri Chinmoy on the theme of Peace and the World Family of which we are all part of.

Principal Corona then led the teachers around the large group of cheering children. The teachers and staff deserve all the recognition and appreciation we can give them for their roles and unending efforts in providing the children with a creative, exciting, loving and peaceful environment for learning and growing.

High fives from the children.

Happy faces are a great reward when we get ready to leave these school programs.

The children receive our official Peace Run cards with a short peace poem and our website address so they can see what is happening all over the world as children like themselves are doing such wonderful things to feel, cultivate and express peace in their lives.

In our final school visit of the day we had lots of help carrying the flags and torches into the assembly hall at the Hawking Stream 2 Charter School.

A Color Guard of students welcomed us to the program.

Dr. Monica Ruiz, Principal of the school, offered a wonderful introduction.

We started our presentation with the silent practice of feeling peace in our hearts with the children and staff.

Guessing our countries by clues we give them, the children then see our countries on a huge map..

Salil, our Executive Director, hops like a kangaroo as the children can easily guess he is from Australia.

Musical director Ms. Mimi introduces the Hawking Middle School band who perform a beautiful song for everyone.

Camila, a student here offers us a wonderful poem she wrote on the theme of peace.

Dr. Lorena Chavez introduces the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award recipients whose work with the students and the school have been very influential and valuable in cultivating a more peaceful and happy community of children and adults alike.

The children were very excited when Mr. Bill Taylor was chosen to receive this award.

Mr. Taylor offered a beautiful speech about how he became involved in his work with the school. As a lawyer and lover of nature he was inspired to use his skills to help the school develop programs to facilitate a loving and peaceful education for all the children. He organized school trips for the children and brought them out to forests and mountains on field trips, among the many other initiatives he most selflessly orchestrated for the Hawking School.

Mr. Greg Shadoan, a council member speaks about his involvement with the students as an active volunteer of the Hawkings School. He also has taken the students on camping trips and offers them opportunities to cultivate peace in their lives in creative and meaningful ways.

Mr. Cesar Vilegos, or Coach V. as he is affectionately called at Hawkings, also received the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award for his work with the children. He has encouraged and inspired fitness and organized sports as important elements in becoming a happier, healthier and more peaceful person.

Student Dariel Flores receives his Torch-Bearer Award for his achievements in his studies and inspiring others to being peace into their lives through education and involvement in the community activities.

Dariel Flores offers an amazing speech about his views of peace in the world and how that can come about in very meaningful and practical ways.

Smiling face and happy children always bring a smile to our faces and peace into our lives.

The children are excited as they have an opportunity to hold the Peace Torch and make wishes for peace.

We are very grateful to the teachers and staff for such an inspiring and colorful program today here at Hawkings 2.

Our final and very significant meeting of the day was with National City Mayor Ron Morrison at his office in City Hall.

Mayor Morrison most graciously invited us to his own personal office and inspired us with words of wisdom on good government and the challenges one faces in trying to initiate meaningful programs on the city level.

The kind Mayor offered a Proclamation to the Peace Run declaring May5 as Peace Run Day in National City.

Salil, our Executive Director, offers Mayor Morrison our Certificate of Appreciation and a colorful painting on the theme of Peace by Sri Chinmoy, Founder of the Peace Run. We are very grateful as are his constituents for the many years of dedication and hard work as he strives to help make National City a peaceful and safe place for its citizens.

The Mayor and his Executive Assistant, Josie Flores Clark, invited us to the Council Chambers.

Mayor Morrison and Josie Flores-Clark with our international team of Peace Runners.

Mayor Ron Morrison with the Morrison family, our Peace Runners from Florida. Not related but very grateful to be good friends with the Mayor. We are all so grateful to Mayor Morrison for making time in his busy schedule to meet with us and spend time to share his experiences and views on what it takes to try to make each community a more peaceful and safe place for everyone.

Torch carried by
Agragati Siegel (United States), Alakananda Lebedev (United States), Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Dave Morrison (United States), Devendra Cheatham (United States), Gabriele Settimi (Italy), Gatisheela Truong (Vietnam), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jack Morrison (United States), Marina Pak (Russia), Natabara Rollosson (United States), Papaha Gosline (United States), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Pujari Schaffer (United States), Salil Wilson (Australia), Santiva Morrison (United States), Vasudha Deming (United States).  
Alakananda Lebedev, Arpan DeAngelo, Natabara Rollosson, Salil Wilson
The torch has travelled 2.0 km in San Diego, California.

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