Charlottetown 'peace tree' honours victims of attacks at places of worship
'People shouldn't have to die just because they want to go and worship'
Representatives from several faiths gathered in Charlottetown Tuesday to plant what they're calling a "peace tree" — a red maple that will be a memorial to people worldwide who were killed or injured in attacks at places of worship.
It was an initiative of the Charlottetown Area Christian Council, prompted by recent attacks on churches, mosques, synagogues and religious officials.
Maj. Daniel Roode, a pastor with the Salvation Army in Charlottetown and former president of the council, said he hopes the tree in Rochford Square offers a place to remember the victims of attacks across Canada and around the world.
"People shouldn't have to die just because they want to go and worship," Roode said.
"Today is just an opportunity to plant a symbol; a symbol of hope to say that freedom is something that we don't take for granted, that we enjoy, and that we want to promote in a peaceful way."
'Let's do something positive'
Roode said in light of the sadness and pain caused by recent attacks at places of worship, the council wanted to offer a message of positivity and hope.
"Let's do something that's positive and that's something that speaks to life rather than more condemnation," he said.
Roode said the group approached Charlottetown officials with their idea and the city supplied the red maple.
City representatives say plans are in the works for a small plaque to let passersby know what the tree symbolizes.