June 11, 2002
On Independence Day, fireworks were not the only festivities Herndon enjoyed. Early Thursday morning, Zach Braun, with the assistance of Troop 913's leader Floyd Adagio, unveiled Herndon's first Peace Pole for his Eagle Scout Project. Made in Montana, this Peace Pole, one of 200 erected in the U.S., is a tall, wooden pole that reads on four sides "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in English, Spanish, French and Chinese, representing the four most-used languages in the world. Zach's father, George Braun said, "The idea that young scouts can do a project for peace bodes well for the future." Supported by St. Joseph's Church in Herndon, Troop 913's other Eagle Scout projects include collecting shoes for Hondurian children and building bird houses to fix up a local park.
The arrangements began with Zach's idea that stemmed from an assignment he was given in fifth grade. After researching on the internet, Zach presented the idea for his first Eagle Scout project to Adagio and his parents George and Judy Braun in January. Adagio said, "Zach saw this forward from start to finish."
Frank Smith of the Powhatan district National Capital Region Council also assisted Zach in the process of getting permission for the Peace Pole, and in April, the unanimous vote of the Herndon Town Council and the Herndon Architectural Board pushed forward the process.
With the help of John Dudzinsky, the community forester, Zach decided on a site in front of the Red Caboose on Lynn Street facing the bike trail and confirmed the unveiling to be set for Independence Day in memory of Sept. 11.
Zach promptly at 10 a.m., on the 4th of July, introduced guests and explained his purpose "To create a lasting monument to peace visible to all those who travel daily." Then Adagio welcomed Zach's family, friends and fellow Herndon residents, reminding them to "Let it stand as a reminder to strive for peace in our nation and community."
Next, Zach with the assistance of his father and Adagio unveiled the peace pole revealing an approximately six-foot-tall, wooden pole surrounded by shrubbery and flowers planted that previous Saturday by Troop 913 and their parents.
That day Mayor of Herndon Richard Thoesen requested, "Whenever you walk pass this pole think of what you are going to do to bring peace to the world." Troop 913, their leaders, friends and family gathered this 4th of July to celebrate peace and the importance of it.
Zach's mother said, "If we think about peace for a moment we can make a difference."