When You Wish Upon a Tree

By Parker Spector-Salwen

By the window in the main hall now stand two little trees that stand for so much: acceptance, peace, and unity.

On Nov. 18, South held a peace gathering in the main hall in an effort to put aside possible negative feelings that arose from the recent election. To start the peace ceremony, each attendee read aloud a line from Robert Kennedy’s Speech upon the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., as many of the speech’s themes are relevant today. Reflecting upon King’s life and death, Kennedy says, “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another.”

Students came prepared with quotes that they then read aloud. “We want every student to know that he/she attends school in a safe community in which we respect each other’s differences and origins,” said World Language teacher Ms. Geraldine Finazzo.

With these quotes for inspiration, students wrote their wishes for the world on tags that they then hung from the tree’s branches. One read, “I wish for peace on Earth and love for one another.”
“I thought the tree delivered a really good message. After a really divisive election we needed something like this to remind us to unite again,” said senior and Student Government President Shrinath Viswanathan.

Writing Our Wrongs—Senior, Caitlin Hamilton, writes a wish to attach to the tree in the main hall.
A Wish For The World—Students and teachers hung their wishes on the tree as a symbol of their hope for the future.
Paz y Amor—"We want every student to know that he/she attends school in a safe community in which we respect each other's differences and origins," said Spanish teacher Geraldine Finazzo. Ms. Finazzo played a key role in the organization of the peace rally because she wants to ensure students feel accepted.
Peace Out— Ms. Campbell spreads peace, love, and warmth with her peace sign and a smile.
Speaking Out Loud— Ms. Elliott promotes acceptance, peace, and unity in the school and in the world around us.

Photos by Lauren Reiss

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