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People of various faiths and organizations plant peace tree in Charlottetown

Leo Mednick, left, president of the Jewish Community of P.E.I., David Rashed, past-president of the Charlottetown Area Christian Council, Major Daniel Roode of the Salvation Army and Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown take part in a ceremonial peace tree planting at Rochford Park on Tuesday.
Leo Mednick, left, president of the Jewish Community of P.E.I., David Rashed, past-president of the Charlottetown Area Christian Council, Major Daniel Roode of the Salvation Army and Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown take part in a ceremonial peace tree planting at Rochford Park on Tuesday. - Dave Stewart
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

People of different faiths took a stand against hatred and violence by planting a peace tree in Charlottetown Tuesday.

The tree, a red maple, was planted in Rochford Park.

The ceremony was meant to remember those who have suffered from attacks of hatred upon places of worship, to promote peace and to recognize the diversity in the community.

In recent global and domestic news reports, an increasing awareness of attacks on communities of faith and places of worship seems to be happening around the world.

“We stop to say irrespective of what a person’s faith is or what their place of worship is, we stand together as a people of faith and of goodwill,’’ said Major Daniel Roode of the Salvation Army.

“No place of worship should be a target of violence.’’

There have been many tragedies in recent news — the shooting deaths in a mosque in New Zealand, bombings in Catholic churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and attacks in a Jewish synagogue in California. Here in Canada, there was a shooting on a Palm Sunday service in Salmon Arm, B.C., and a priest was stabbed while conducting mass in St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Que.

The Charlottetown Area Christian Council would like to express sympathy with those who recently were attacked and have suffered.

“I’m very proud to be a Prince Edward Islander and a Canadian and I think we as Islanders and Canadians set a great example for the rest of the world by being tolerant of different denominations and different groups,’’ said David Rashed, past-president of the council.

“Whether we open our borders and let them in and take them from war-torn countries, we just want everyone to have a chance to come and have a great life.’’

The council, in partnership with the City of Charlottetown, planted a red maple peace tree in the park.

The maple tree is a symbol of Canada, and a tree is vulnerable yet able to grow, a living memento and symbol of the remembrance and promotion of peace.

The ceremony included Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown, as well as representatives of other faiths on the Island, such as Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Sikh.

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