By Journalist Ms. Jones
UNIONDALE – Thousands of people of all races and denominations came out to the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum on Monday, November 12th for the “Peace Starts with Me” event celebrating Veteran’s Day. This Veteran’s Day commemorated the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of World War I. It was an afternoon filled with prayer, inspiration, and music with the goal of healing America.
It was a day to think about all of the people who fearlessly fought for our country and to be grateful for those veterans who died for our freedom. Appreciation was shown to several veteran organizations in the form of donations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who assist veterans gain more rights, Headstrong, who makes sure that veterans receive mental healthcare, Union Cyber, who ensures that military talent becomes cybersecurity leaders, and Black Veterans for Social Justice, who aid black veterans in America re-assimilate into society.
The event was hosted by Stellar Award-Winning Radio Announcer Liz Black of WBLS and WLIB. Numerous gospel artists blessed the crowd, including Worship Leader Israel Houghton and Grammy Award Winner Yolanda Adams.
“[I’m] so glad that peace starts with me… I needed peace this week. I needed peace in my mind. I needed peace in my heart… peace in my home… and it started with me. For real,” said Adams.
The 5,000 Voice “Peace Starts with Me” Choir, the largest ever in America, sang with Grammy Award Winner Bishop Hezekiah Walker. It was created by A. Curtis Farrow, Emmy Award winning producer and director known for his annual McDonald’s Gospelfest and for producing Aretha Franklin’s funeral services.
Choir member Yalewa Melvin is a member of LaGuardia High School’s Gospel Alumni Choir of Music and Art [and Performing Arts] that was a part of the 5,000 Voice Choir.
“This time we performed with LaGuardia High School that’s in school right now,” said Melvin. “[I enjoyed] seeing everybody together, what the cause was… and just being here celebrating God and peace… It was an awesome experience.”
One thousand praise dancers worshiped in the aisles during Bishop Walker’s performance of “Every Praise.” There were also three hundred young people dancing with the band Apple Heaven.
“My favorite part was seeing everyone coming together. Either you’re white, black… This is what was the motivation of this event is to see all the people coming together… We are all children of God… This is what God wanted to see,” said Apple Heaven dancer Serafina Kisile.
Bishop Noel Jones came all the way from California to inspire the crowd.
“The motivation of peace literally begins with me and the reason it begins with me is because I have a relationship with God… I am close to the Prince of Peace… I cannot have the peace with God and the peace of God and not have peace with the people around me,” said Bishop Jones who is the pastor of the City of Refuge, a 20,000-member church in Los Angeles.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, a native of North Korea, was the featured keynote speaker.
“The core value of a peaceful nation is the spirit of selfless public service that can bring the peace that is at the root of happiness. We need to see humanity as one great family, by breaking down the walls in our hearts and eliminating even the boundaries between nations,” said Dr. Moon, founder of the Universal Peace Federation.